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Enhanced recovery after surgery is feasible and safe in liver transplantation: a cohort study

      Abstract

      Background

      The principles of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) are being applied to still more advanced procedures. Liver transplantation offers a unique opportunity for a multimodal approach including donor care as well. Our objective was to determine if ERAS was applicable and safe in orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT).

      Methods

      A national single centre retrospective study showing the implementation of ERAS from 2013 to 2019 with the proceeding 2 years serving as baseline. The primary endpoints were mortality, length of stay (LOS) in the ward and intensive care unit stay. Secondary endpoints were complications estimated by Dindo-Clavien classification, comprehensive complication index (CCI®) and re-admissions.

      Results

      A total of 334 patients were included. LOS was significantly reduced from a median of 22.5 days at introduction to 14 days at 2019. Cold ischaemia time was reduced from a mean of 10.7 to 6.0 h and the use of blood products (erythrocytes, plasma and thrombocytes) from a median of 28 to 6 units. Complications were reduced in severity. Mortality and readmission rates were not affected.

      Conclusion

      ERAS principles are safe and recommended in patients undergoing OLT resulting in reduced severity of complications and LOS without affecting re-admissions or mortality.
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