Elderly Patients Benefit From Enhanced Recovery Protocols After Colorectal Surgery

Jessica Y. Liu, Sebastian D. Perez, Glen G. Balch, Patrick S. Sullivan, Jahnavi K. Srinivasan, Charles A. Staley, John Sweeney, Jyotirmay Sharma, Virginia O. Shaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Enhanced recovery protocols (ERAS) aim to decrease physiological stress response to surgery and maintain postoperative physiological function. Proponents of ERAS state these protocols decrease lengths of stay (LOS) and complication rates. Our aim was to assess whether elderly patients receive the same benefit as younger patients using ERAS protocols. Methods: We queried patients from 2015 to 2017 at our institution with Enhanced Recovery in Surgery (ERIN) variables from the targeted colectomy NSQIP database. The patients were divided into sextiles and analyzed for readmission, LOS, return of bowel function, tolerating diet, mobilization, and multimodal pain management comparing the youngest sextile to the oldest sextile. Results: Two hundred sixty-two patients (73% colectomies) were enrolled in ERAS. When compared with the youngest sextile (age 19-43.8), the oldest sextile (age 71.4-92.5) had similar readmission rates at 9.8% versus 9.5% (P-value = 0.87), quicker return of bowel function, average 1.9 d versus 3.7 d (P-value < 0.01), and tolerated diet quicker, average POD 2.4 d versus 5.1 d (P-value < 0.01). There was a slight decrease in the use of multimodal pain management 88% versus 100% (P-value = 0.07), but mobilization on POD1 was slightly better in the elderly at 80% versus 78% (P-value = 0.76). Elderly patients enrolled in ERAS had an average LOS of 4.9 days versus 7.8 in the younger patients (P-value = 0.08). Among elderly non-ERAS patients average LOS was 14.6 days. Conclusion: Overall, elderly patients fared better or the same on the ERIN variables analyzed than the younger cohort. ERAS protocols are beneficial and applicable to elderly patients undergoing colorectal surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal surgery
  • ERAS
  • Elderly patients
  • Geriatric surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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