Background: Although management techniques have been proposed to accelerate gastrointestinal recovery after elective bowel resection (BR), most data are derived from single-institution experience. This study assessed the current state of perioperative care for elective BRs and the effect of pathway components on length of stay.
Methods: A web-based survey was conducted among surgeons regarding their last elective BR.
Results: Among 207 general and 200 colorectal surgeons, 30% practice in hospitals with a perioperative surgical care pathway intended to accelerate gastrointestinal recovery. Pathway components included early ambulation, early diet progression, early nasogastric tube removal/avoidance, and opioid-sparing pain control. Care practices associated with decreased length of stay included laparoscopic technique, early mobilization, early liquids, and antiemetic use to prevent symptoms associated with prolonged postoperative ileus.
Conclusions: Few hospitals have pathways but most surgeons likely would implement nationally endorsed guidelines. These data, along with other studies, may lead to well-accepted BR care pathways.
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