Implementation of an enhanced recovery protocol in pediatric colorectal surgery

Heather L. Short, Kurt F. Heiss, Katelyn Burch, Curtis Travers, John Edney, Claudia Venable, Mehul V. Raval*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose: Enhanced recovery protocols (ERPs) have been shown to improve outcomes in adult surgical populations. Our purpose was to compare outcomes before and after implementation of an ERP in children undergoing elective colorectal surgery. Methods: A pediatric-specific colorectal ERP was developed and implemented at a single center starting in January 2015. A retrospective review was performed including 43 patients in the pre-ERP period (2012–2014) and 36 patients in the post-ERP period (2015–2016). Outcomes of interest included number of ERP interventions received, length of stay (LOS), complications, and readmissions. Results: The median number of ERP interventions received per patient increased from 5 to 11 from 2012 to 2016. The median LOS decreased from 5 days to 3 days in the post-ERP period (p = 0.01). We observed a simultaneous decrease in median time to regular diet, mean dose of narcotics, and mean volume of intraoperative fluids (p < 0.001). The complication rate (21% vs. 17%, p = 0.85) and 30-day readmission rate (23% vs. 11%, p = 0.63) were not significantly different in the pre- and post-ERP periods. Conclusions: Implementation of a pediatric-specific ERP in children undergoing colorectal surgery is feasible, safe and may lead to improved outcomes. Further experience may highlight other opportunities for increased compliance and improved care. Level of evidence: Treatment Study. Level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-692
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Colorectal surgery
  • Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS)
  • Fast-track protocols
  • Pediatric surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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