Narcotics reduction, quality and safety in gynecologic oncology surgery in the first year of enhanced recovery after surgery protocol implementation

Jennifer E. Bergstrom, Marla E. Scott, Yewande Alimi, Ting Tai Yen, Deborah Hobson, Karime K. Machado, Edward Tanner, Amanda N. Fader, Sarah M. Temkin, Stephanie Wethington, Kimberly Levinson, Sam Sokolinsky, Brandyn Lau, Rebecca L. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programs are mechanisms for achieving value-based improvements in surgery. This report provides a detailed analysis of the impact of an ERAS program on patient outcomes as well as quality and safety measures during implementation on a gynecologic oncology service at a major academic medical center. Methods: A retrospective review of gynecologic oncology patients undergoing elective laparotomy during the implementation phase of an ERAS program (January 2016 through December 2016) was performed. Patient demographics, surgical variables, postoperative outcomes, and adherence to core safety measures, including antimicrobial and venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis, were compared to a historical patient cohort (January 2015 through December 2015). Statistical analyses were performed using t-tests, Wilcoxon rank sum tests, and Chi squared tests. Results: The inaugural 109 ERAS program participants were compared to a historical patient cohort (n = 158). There was no difference in BMI, race, malignancy, or complexity of procedure between cohorts. ERAS patients required less narcotics (70.7 vs 127.4, p = 0.007, oral morphine equivalents) and PCA use (32.1% vs. 50.6%, p = 0.002). Despite this substantial reduction in narcotics, ERAS patients did not report more pain and in fact reported significantly less pain by postoperative day 3. There were no differences in length of stay (5 days), complication rates (13.8% vs. 20.3%, p = 0.17) or 30-day readmission rates (9.5 vs 11.9%, p = 0.54) between ERAS and historical patients, respectively. Compliance with antimicrobial prophylaxis was 97.2%. However, 33.9% of ERAS patients received substandard preoperative VTE prophylaxis. Conclusions: ERAS program implementation resulted in reductions in narcotic requirements and PCA use without changes in length of stay or readmission rates. Compliance should be diligently audited during the implementation phase of ERAS programs, with special attention to adherence to pre-existing core safety measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-559
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Compliance
  • Enhanced recovery
  • Narcotic utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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