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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 10

J Robot Surg

An Enhanced Recovery After Surgery protocol for robotic-assisted laparoscopic nephrectomies utilizing a quadratus lumborum block.


Yip W, Chen AB, Malekyan C, Widjaja W, Yan K, Stankey M, Sun X, Ashrafi AN, Graham JN, Dickerson SC, Eloustaz MH, Desai MM, Gill IS, Aron M, Kim MP
J Robot Surg. 2022 Feb 10.
PMID: 35142979.


Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols have been developed in several fields to reduce hospitalization lengths and overall costs. There have also been developments in multimodal analgesia methods to curtail opioid usage after surgery. Herein, we present the results of our initiation of an ERAS protocol for robotic-assisted laparoscopic partial and radical nephrectomies, employing a quadratus lumborum (QL) regional anesthetic block. We retrospectively reviewed 614 patients in our Institutional Review Board approved database who underwent robotic-assisted laparoscopic partial or radical nephrectomies from January 2017 to February 2020. An ERAS protocol utilizing multimodal analgesia (acetaminophen and gabapentin) and a QL block was developed and introduced in February 2019. We then compared the opioid consumption and perioperative outcomes of patients before and after ERAS protocol initiation. 192 ERAS patients (February 2019 to February 2020) were compared to 422 non-ERAS patients (January 2017 to January 2019). Baseline characteristics and the proportion of preoperative opioids users were similar between the two groups. There were no statistically significant differences in surgery length, hospitalization length, or complication rates. There were statistically significant differences in our primary endpoint, opioid consumption, on post-operative days 0 (p < 0.001), 1 (p < 0.001), and 2 (p < 0.001). The total opioid requirements over the course of admission were lower in the ERAS group compared to the non-ERAS group (p = 0.03). The initiation of an ERAS protocol employing multimodal analgesia and a QL block, for patients undergoing robotic-assisted laparoscopic partial or radical nephrectomies, can decrease opioid requirements without compromising perioperative outcomes.