Defining postoperative ileus and associated risk factors in patients undergoing radical cystectomy with an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program
Introduction: Postoperative ileus (POI) is a common complication of radical cystectomy (RC), occurring in 1.6–23.5% of cases. It is defined heterogeneously in the literature. POI increases hospital length of stay and postoperative morbidity. Factors such as age, epidural use, length of procedure, and blood loss may impact POI. In this study, we aimed to evaluate risk factors that contribute to POI in a cohort of patients managed with a comprehensive Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol.
Methods: A retrospective review of consecutive patients who underwent RC from March 2015 to December 2016 at Vancouver General Hospital was performed. POI was defined a priori as insertion of nasogastric tube for nausea or vomiting, or failure to advance to a solid diet by the seventh postoperative day. To illustrate heterogeneity in previous studies, we also evaluated POI using other previously reported definitions in the RC literature. The influence of potential risk factors for POI, including patient comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, gender, age, prior abdominal surgery or radiation, length of operation, diversion type, extent of lymph node dissection, removal date of analgesic catheter, blood loss, and fluid administration volume was analyzed.
Results: Thirty-six (27%) of 136 patients developed POI. Using other previously reported definitions for POI, the incidence ranged from <1–51%. Node-positive status and age at surgery were associated with POI on univariate analysis but not multivariable analysis.
Conclusions: A large range of POI incidence was observed using previously published definitions of POI. We advocate for a standardized definition of POI when evaluating RC outcomes. POI occurs frequently even with a comprehensive ERAS protocol, suggesting that additional measures are needed to reduce the rate of POI.
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