Background: In patients undergoing colonic surgery the postoperative hospital stay has been reduced from 8-12 days to 2-4 days with multimodal rehabilitation programs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the postoperative outcome after surgery for ovarian malignancy with conventional care compared to fast-track multimodal rehabilitation.
Methods: Seventy-two consecutive patients receiving conventional care (group 1) were compared with 69 consecutive patients receiving multimodal, fast-track rehabilitation with a planned care program including continuous epidural analgesia, early oral feeding and mobilization (group 2) in the same department. Outcome was postoperative hospital stay and morbidity during the first postoperative month.
Results: Median age was 63 years (group 1) and 62 years (group 2). Median postoperative hospital stay was reduced from 6 days in group 1 (mean 7.3) to 5 days in group 2 (mean 5.4) (p < 0.05). There was no difference in the overall complication rate, although severe medical complications were reduced in group 2 (14% versus 2%; p < 0.01). Readmission rate was 10% in group 1 and 3% in group 2 (p > 0.05).
Conclusions: The concept of fast-track multimodal rehabilitation appears to be beneficial in patients operated for ovarian malignancy, as hospital stay and medical morbidity are reduced.