Postoperative Day 1 Discharge After Robotic Totally Endoscopic Coronary Bypass: The Ultimate in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery

Innovations (Phila). 2023 Mar-Apr;18(2):159-166. doi: 10.1177/15569845231164374. Epub 2023 Apr 8.


Objective: The benefits of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols are being recognized in multiple surgical specialties, including following coronary bypass surgery to improve quality of care and decrease costs. We developed a fast-track discharge protocol for patients undergoing robotic totally endoscopic coronary bypass surgery (TECAB) to be discharged on postoperative day (POD) 1, the subjects of this study.

Methods: In a retrospective study of 720 patients undergoing robotic beating-heart TECAB over 8 years at our institution, 93 patients were selected for a fast-track POD1 discharge protocol. We compared the outcomes of this group to the remaining 627 patients who were discharged per standard protocol (non-POD1 discharge).

Results: The early discharge group was significantly younger, had lower Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) risk of mortality, and had a lower prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. Patients discharged on POD1 were more often extubated in the operating room (56% vs 42%, P = 0.010). The readmission rate for the early discharge group was 3.2%, which was similar to the readmission rate of 6.7% for the standard discharge protocol group (P = 0.329). Time to return to work was shorter in the early discharge group, although it did not quite reach statistical significance (12 vs 18 days, P = 0.051). There was no difference in midterm cardiac mortality.

Conclusions: Early discharge on POD1 after robotic TECAB is appropriate in selected patients and is associated with low readmission rates and a trend towards earlier return to work. Patients suitable for this "ultrafast-track" approach were more likely to be younger, have lower STS risk, and fewer comorbidities.

Keywords: ERAS; TECAB; coronary artery bypass grafting; coronary artery disease; minimally invasive; robotic.

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Bypass / methods
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / surgery
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Enhanced Recovery After Surgery*
  • Humans
  • Patient Discharge
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures* / methods
  • Treatment Outcome