Implementation of an enhanced recovery program for lower extremity bypass

Academic Article


  • Objective: Enhanced recovery programs (ERPs) have gained wide acceptance across multiple surgical disciplines to improve postoperative outcomes and to decrease hospital length of stay (LOS). However, there is limited information in the existing literature for vascular patients. We describe the implementation and early results of an ERP and barriers to its implementation for lower extremity bypass surgery. Our intention is to provide a framework to assist with implementation of similar ERPs. Methods: Using the plan, do, check, adjust methodology, a multidisciplinary team was assembled. A database was used to collect information on patient-, procedure-, and ERP-specific metrics. We then retrospectively analyzed patients' demographics and outcomes. Results: During 9 months, an ERP (n = 57) was successfully developed and implemented spanning preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative phases. ERP and non-ERP patient demographics were statistically similar. Early successes include 97% use of fascia iliaca block and multimodal analgesia administration in 81%. Barriers included only 47% of patients achieving day of surgery mobilization and 19% receiving celecoxib preoperatively. ERP patients had decreased total and postoperative LOS compared with non-ERP patients (n = 190) with a mean (standard deviation) total LOS of 8.32 (8.4) days vs 11.14 (10.1) days (P =.056) and postoperative LOS of 6.12 (6.02) days vs 7.98 (7.52) days (P =.089). There was significant decrease in observed to expected postoperative LOS (1.28 [0.66] vs 1.82 [1.38]; P =.005). Variable and total costs for ERP patients were significantly reduced ($13,208 [$9930] vs $18,777 [$19,118; P <.01] and $29,865 [$22,110] vs $40,328 [$37,820; P =.01], respectively). Conclusions: Successful implementation of ERP for lower extremity bypass carries notable challenges but can have a significant impact on practice patterns. Further adjustment of our current protocol is anticipated, but early results are promising. Implementation of a vascular surgery ERP reduced variable and total costs and decreased total and postoperative LOS. We believe this protocol can easily be implemented at other institutions using the pathway outlined.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Witcher A; Axley J; Novak Z; Laygo-Prickett M; Guthrie M; Xhaja A; Chu DI; Brokus SD; Spangler EL; Passman MA
  • Start Page

  • 554
  • End Page

  • 563
  • Volume

  • 73
  • Issue

  • 2