Implementation of an ERAS program in patients undergoing thoracic surgery at a third-level university hospital: an ambispective cohort study

Braz J Anesthesiol. 2023 Jan-Feb;73(1):16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.bjane.2021.04.014. Epub 2021 Apr 27.


Objective: To analyze the effects of an ERAS program on complication rates, readmission, and length of stay in patients undergoing pulmonary resection in a tertiary university hospital.

Methods: Ambispective cohort study with a prospective arm of 50 patients undergoing thoracic surgery within an ERAS program (ERAS group) versus a retrospective arm of 50 patients undergoing surgery before the protocol was implemented (Standard group). The primary outcome was the number of patients with 30-day surgical complications. Secondary outcomes included ERAS adherence, non-surgical complications, mortality, readmission, reintervention rate, pain, and hospital length of stay. We performed a multivariate logistic analysis to study the correlation between outcomes and ERAS adherence.

Results: In the univariate analysis, we found no difference between the two groups in terms of surgical complications (Standard 18 [36%] vs. ERAS 12 [24%], p=0.19). In the ERAS group, only the readmission rate was significantly lower (Standard 15 [30%] vs. ERAS 6 [12%], p=0.03). In the multivariate analysis, ERAS adherence was the only factor associated with a reduction in surgical complications (OR [95% CI]=0.02 [0.00, 0.59], p=0.03) and length of stay (HR [95% CI]=18.5 [4.39, 78.4], p<0.001).

Conclusions: The ERAS program significantly reduced the readmission rate at our hospital. Adherence to the ERAS protocol reduced surgical complications and length of stay.

Keywords: Enhanced recovery after surgery; Fast-track rehabilitation; VATS.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Postoperative Complications* / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications* / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications* / prevention & control
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracic Surgery*