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29.10.2019 | Scientific Review

Cost Analysis of Enhanced Recovery Programs in Colorectal, Pancreatic, and Hepatic Surgery: A Systematic Review

World Journal of Surgery
Gaëtan-Romain Joliat, Martin Hübner, Didier Roulin, Nicolas Demartines
Wichtige Hinweise
This article was presented in parts at the Annual Congress of the Swiss Surgical Society in Basel, Switzerland, May 16–18, 2018.

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Enhanced recovery programs (ERPs) have been shown to improve postoperative outcomes after abdominal surgery. This study aimed to review the current literature to assess if ERPs in colorectal, pancreas, and liver surgery induce cost savings.


A systematic review was performed including prospective and retrospective studies comparing conventional management versus ERP in terms of costs. All kinds of ERP were considered (fast-track, ERAS®, or home-made protocols). Studies with no mention of a clear protocol and no reporting of protocol compliance were excluded.


Thirty-seven articles out of 144 identified records were scrutinized as full articles. Final analysis included 16 studies. In colorectal surgery, two studies were prospective (1 randomized controlled trial, RCT) and six retrospective, totaling 1277 non-ERP patients and 2078 ERP patients. Three of the eight studies showed no difference in cost savings between the two groups. The meta-analysis found a mean cost reduction of USD3010 (95% CI: 5370–650, p = 0.01) in favor of ERP. Among the five included studies in pancreas surgery (all retrospective, 552 non-ERP vs. 348 ERP patients), the mean cost reduction in favor of the ERP group was USD7020 (95% CI: 11,600–2430, p = 0.003). In liver surgery, only three studies (two retrospective and 1 RCT, 180 non-ERP vs. 197 ERP patients) were found, which precluded a sound cost analysis.


The present systematic review suggests that ERPs in colorectal and pancreas surgery are associated with cost savings compared to conventional perioperative management. Cost data in liver surgery are scarce.

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