Development of a Five Point Enhanced Recovery Protocol for Pectus Excavatum Surgery



      We implemented and evaluated an Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) protocol for Nuss procedures consisting of patient education, bowel management, pre/post-operative transitional pain service involvement, serratus anterior plane blocks and intercostal nerve cryoablation.


      A 5-point ERAS protocol was implemented using multiple plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles. Data was collected prospectively for patients in the full ERAS protocol and retrospectively for previous patients. The primary outcome was length of stay (LOS). Secondary outcomes were opioid consumption, pain scores, protocol compliance and patient satisfaction. The impact of PDSA cycles and the ERAS protocol was quantified using statistical process control charts and Mann Whitney U test.


      A total of 53 patients were identified, 13 within the ERAS protocol and 40 prior to introduction. There was no difference in age, sex, or Haller index between the two cohorts. The median LOS was decreased by 3 days in the ERAS cohort (P=0.00001). There was decreased opioid consumption on post-operative day 1 (1.47 vs 1.96 MME/kg, p = 0.009) and overall (3.12 vs 6.35 MME/kg, p=0.0042) in the ERAS cohort. Median pain scores did not differ between cohorts. ERAS bundle element compliance was: education 92%, bowel management 100%, transitional pain involvement 100%, serratus block 100% and cryoablation 100%. The 1-month survey revealed that 92% of patients were satisfied with their experience.


      Our results demonstrate significant reduction in LOS and a trend to decreasing opioid consumption in hospital following ERAS protocol implementation and support the further application of ERAS protocols in pediatrics.

      Level of Evidence: III

      Retrospective comparative study.


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