HealthDay News — Implementation of a large-scale, enhanced recovery project for bariatric surgery is feasible and results in a decrease in extended length of stay (ELOS), according to a study published in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

Stacy A. Brethauer, MD, from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues implemented and evaluated an enhanced recovery protocol (Enhanced Recovery Goals in Bariatric Surgery [ENERGY]) for 36 selected Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement and Program centers with historical ELOS (at least 4 days). The authors sought to determine the protocol’s impact on length of stay, bleeding, readmissions, and reoperation rates. The analysis included 18,048 cases in total during a 24-month period.

The researchers found that overall rates of ELOS for preintervention and postintervention were 8.1% and 4.5%, respectively. There was no increase in readmission rates, reoperation rates, or overall morbidity. However, bleeding rates increased from 0.8% before the intervention to 1.1% during the intervention period. There was a significant inverse association between increased adherence score and decreased odds of ELOS.

“The ENERGY protocol or similar enhanced recovery pathways should be implemented on a larger scale to further improve the care and outcomes of bariatric surgery patients,” the authors write.

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