Randomized clinical trial of multimodal optimization of surgical care in patients undergoing major colonic resection

Br J Surg. 2005 Nov;92(11):1354-62. doi: 10.1002/bjs.5187.


Background: The aim of this trial was to compare multimodal optimization with conventional perioperative management in a consecutive series of patients undergoing a wide range of colorectal procedures.

Methods: Thirty-nine patients undergoing major elective colonic resection were recruited prospectively. Patients were randomized to receive a ten-point multimodal optimization package or conventional perioperative care. All patients were administered epidural analgesia and opiates were avoided. Outcome measures recorded related to length of hospital stay, physical and mental function, and gut function.

Results: Optimization was associated with a significantly shorter median (interquartile range) hospital stay compared with conventional care (5 (4-9) versus 7.5 (6-10) days; P = 0.027). Duration of catheterization (P = 0.022) and duration of intravenous infusion (P = 0.007) were also less. Optimization was associated with a quicker recovery of gut function (P = 0.042). Grip strength was maintained in the postoperative period in the optimized group (P = 0.241) but not in the control group (P = 0.049). There were no differences in morbidity or mortality between the groups.

Conclusion: Optimization is safe and results in a significant reduction in postoperative stay along with other improved endpoints. This cannot be directly attributed to improvement in any single outcome measure or to the use of epidural analgesia. Improvements are more likely to be multifactorial and may relate to an earlier return of gut function.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colectomy / methods
  • Colonic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Colonic Diseases / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Care / methods
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rectal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Rectal Diseases / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vital Capacity / physiology