World journal of surgery

Implementation of an Enhanced Recovery Pathway After Pancreaticoduodenectomy in Patients with Low Drain Fluid Amylase.

PMID 25809067


The safety and feasibility of an enhanced recovery pathway (ERP) after pancreatic surgery is largely unknown. Our aim was to prospectively evaluate a targeted ERP after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD), using first postoperative day (POD) drain fluid amylase (DFA1) values to identify patients at low risk of pancreatic fistula (PF). Non-randomized cohort study of 130 consecutive patients. Perioperative outcomes were compared before (pre-ERP; N=65) and after (post-ERP; N=65) implementation of an ERP. Patients in each group were stratified according to the risk of PF using DFA1<350 IU/l. Low-risk patients in the post-ERP group were selected for early oral intake and early drain removal. 81/130 patients had a DFA1<350. Incidence of PF was significantly lower in low-risk patients (9 vs. 45%, P=0.0001). In low-risk patients, morbidity (43 vs. 36%) and mortality (2.7 vs. 4.5%) were similar for both pre- and post-ERP patients. Hospital stay (median 9 vs. 7 days, P=0.03) and 30-day readmissions (17 vs. 2%, P=0.04) were lower in low-risk patients in the post-ERP group. In high-risk patients, there was no difference in outcomes between pre- and post-ERP. Patients at low risk of PF after PD can be identified by first POD DFA1. Enhanced recovery after PD is safe and leads to improved short-term outcomes in low-risk patients.