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Effectiveness of a written clinical pathway for enhanced recovery after transthoracic (Ivor Lewis) oesophagectomy. BJS 2010; 97: 714-718.

Published: 25th February 2010

Authors: V. Munitiz, L. F. Martinez‐de‐Haro, A. Ortiz, D. Ruiz‐de‐Angulo, P. Pastor, P. Parrilla et al.

Background

This study assessed the feasibility of a protocol‐driven written clinical pathway for multidisciplinary postoperative management after oesophagectomy for oesophageal neoplasia, and examined whether the application of such a protocol could shorten hospital stay and reduce postoperative morbidity and mortality.

Method

Consecutive patients undergoing transthoracic oesophagectomy for oesophageal neoplasia were divided into those treated between 2003 and 2008 to whom a clinical pathway was applied for postoperative management (group 1), and a control group treated between 1998 and 2002 when no clinical pathway was applied (group 2).

Results

There were 74 patients in each group. Morbidity rates were similar in the two groups: 31 per cent in group 1 and 38 per cent in group 2. There were more pulmonary complications in group 2 (23 versus 14 per cent; P = 0·025). One patient (1 per cent) in group 1 and four (5 per cent) in group 2 died after surgery (P = 0·010). The median (range) length of hospital stay was 9 (5–98) days for group 1 and 13 (8–106) days in group 2 (P = 0·012).

Conclusion

Use of a written clinical pathway in patients undergoing oesophageal resection significantly reduced pulmonary complications, postoperative mortality and hospital stay. Copyright © 2010 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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