Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) following radical cystectomy: is it worth implementing for all patients?

World J Urol. 2021 Jun;39(6):1927-1933. doi: 10.1007/s00345-020-03435-1. Epub 2020 Sep 11.


Purpose: To report the overall effect of ERAS protocol implementation in patients undergoing radical cystectomy and its impact on the length of hospital stay (LOS) and surgical outcomes considering their comorbid conditions.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study including 296 patients (146 non-ERAS patients vs. 150 ERAS patients) undergoing radical cystectomy and urinary diversion from 2010 to 2018. Age-adjusted Charlson Comorbidity Index (ACCI) score eight was set as cut off value between low-risk and high-risk patients. The primary outcome was LOS. Secondary outcomes were time to bowel movements, tolerance of regular diet, the incidence of postoperative ileus, postoperative complications, and 30- and 90-day readmission rates.

Results: A higher comorbidity burden was identified in the ERAS group compared to non-ERAS patients (p = 0.04). Median (IQR) LOS for non-ERAS was group 8(4) and 8(5) for ERAS group (p = 0.07). ERAS group demonstrated shorter time to resume bowel movements as well as time to tolerance of regular diet (p = 0.007, p = 0.023, respectively). Low-risk patients managed by the ERAS protocol demonstrated a significantly shortened gastrointestinal (GIT) recovery time (p = 0.001) as well as a reduction of LOS (p = 0.04). No significant reduction of LOS was identified for patients with higher comorbidity when placed on the ERAS protocol (p = 0.65). There were no significant differences in postoperative complications or readmission rates between groups.

Conclusion: ERAS protocol implementation following radical cystectomy showed significant improvements in GIT recovery, nevertheless, it did not result in a decrease in LOS or readmission rates. Low-risk patients appeared to derive more benefit from ERAS protocol implementation than high-risk patients.

Keywords: Age-adjusted charlson comorbidity index; Enhanced recovery after surgery; High-risk patients; Radical cystectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cystectomy* / methods
  • Enhanced Recovery After Surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome