Background: Fast-track surgery has been described as a plan to facilitate early recovery. We present one surgeon's modifications to fast-track surgery for laparoscopic colectomy patients.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 48 consecutive patients undergoing elective laparoscopic colectomy treated by a modified fast-track plan between 2004 and 2008. Elements included preoperative education, pre-anesthesia dexamethasone, immediate postoperative general diet, no urinary catheter, no epidural anesthesia, and no flatus or bowel movement as a discharge requirement. Data collected included the following: age, sex, body mass index, resection indications, surgical time, blood loss, pain score, time to ambulation, time to bowel function, length of stay, complications, and mortality.
Results: The mean length of stay was 37 hours (1.5 d), with 29 of 48 patients discharged without passage of flatus or stool. Only 1 patient required readmission.
Conclusions: Our modified fast-track plan achieved significant improvement in length of stay for laparoscopic colectomy compared with previous results.
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