Enhanced recovery in liver transplantation: A value-based approach to complex surgical care

Cyrus A. Feizpour, Madhukar S. Patel, Mohammad A. Syed, Alana Carrasco, Jigesh Shah, Steven Hanish, Leonor Sosa, Susan Fogus, Scott Bennett, Chen Shi, Bailor Hardman, Parsia A. Vagefi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Value-based healthcare focuses on improving outcomes relative to cost. We aimed to study the impact of an enhanced recovery pathway for liver transplant recipients on providing value. Methods: In total, 379 liver recipients were identified: pre–enhanced recovery pathway (2017, n = 57) and post–enhanced recovery pathway (2018–2020, n = 322). The enhanced recovery pathway bundle was defined through multidisciplinary efforts and included optimal fluid management, end-of-case extubation, multimodal analgesia, and a standardized care pathway. Pre– and post–enhanced recovery pathway patients were compared with regard to extubation rates, lengths of stay, complications, readmissions, survival, and costs. Results: Pre– and post–enhanced recovery pathway recipient model for end-stage liver disease score and balance of risk scores were similar, although post–enhanced recovery pathway recipients had a higher median donor risk index (1.55 vs 1.39, P = .003). End-of-case extubation rates were 78% post–enhanced recovery pathway (including 91% in 2020) versus 5% pre–enhanced recovery pathway, with post–enhanced recovery pathway patients having decreased median intraoperative transfusion requirements (1,500 vs 3,000 mL, P < .001). Post–enhanced recovery pathway recipients had shorter median intensive care unit (1.6 vs 2.3 days, P = .01) and hospital stays (5.4 vs 8.0 days, P < .001). Incidence of severe (Clavien-Dindo ≥3) complications during the index hospitalization were similar between pre–enhanced recovery pathway versus post–enhanced recovery pathway groups (33% vs 23%, P = .13), as were 30-day readmissions (26% vs 33%, P = .44) and 1-year survival (93.0% vs 94.5%, P = .58). The post–enhanced recovery pathway cohort demonstrated a significant reduction in median direct cost per case ($11,406; P < .001). Conclusion: Implementation of an enhanced recovery pathway in liver transplantation is feasible, safe, and effective in delivering value, even in the setting of complex surgical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1830-1837
Number of pages8
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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