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Randomized clinical trial of accelerated enhanced recovery after minimally invasive colorectal cancer surgery (RecoverMI trial). BJS 2019; 106: 1311-1318.

Published: 19th June 2019

Authors: B. K. Bednarski, T. P. Nickerson, Y. N. You, C. A. Messick, B. Speer, V. Gottumukkala et al.

Background

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) and enhanced recovery protocols (ERPs) have improved postoperative recovery and shortened length of hospital stay (LOS). Telemedicine technology has potential to improve outcomes and patient experience further. This study was designed to determine whether the combination of MIS, ERP and a structured telemedicine programme (TeleRecovery) could shorten total 30‐day LOS by 50 per cent.

Method

This was a phase II prospective RCT at a large academic medical centre. Eligible patients aged 18–80 years undergoing minimally invasive colorectal resection using an ERP were randomized after surgery. The experimental arm (RecoverMI) included accelerated discharge on postoperative day (POD) 1 with or without evidence of bowel function and a televideoconference on POD 2. The control arm was standard postoperative care. The primary endpoint was total 30‐day LOS (postoperative stay plus readmission/emergency department/observation days). Secondary endpoints included patient‐reported outcomes measured by EQ‐5D‐5L™, Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) and a satisfaction questionnaire.

Results

Thirty patients were randomized after robotic (21 patients) or laparoscopic (9) colectomy, including 14 patients in the RecoverMI arm. Median 30‐day total LOS was 28·3 (i.q.r. 23·7–43·6) h in the RecoverMI arm and 51·5 (43·8–67·0) h in the control arm (P = 0·041). There were no differences in severe adverse events or EQ‐5D‐5L™ score between the study arms. The BPI revealed low pain scores regardless of treatment arm. Satisfaction was high in both arms.

Conclusion

In patients having surgery for colorectal neoplasms, the trimodal combination of MIS, ERP and TeleRecovery can reduce 30‐day LOS while preserving patients' quality of life and satisfaction. Registration number: NCT02613728 (
https://clinicaltrials.gov).

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