PURPOSE: The combination of laparoscopic colorectal surgery together with an enhanced recovery program has resulted in short hospital stays. The purpose of this study was to assess the acceptability and safety of a 23-hour-stay protocol developed for patients undergoing laparoscopic colectomy.
METHODS: Patients undergoing elective laparoscopic colorectal resection who met the inclusion criteria were invited to participate in the study. A specific preoperative, anesthetic, and postoperative protocol was used. Patients were discharged 23 hours after the start of surgery. Follow-up was by telephone contact on the evening of the day of discharge with outpatient follow-up at Day 3.
RESULTS: Ten patients were included in the study. All patients were discharged within 23 hours from the commencement of surgery. There were no complications and no readmissions to the hospital. All patients were satisfied with the service; all ten would request to follow the same pathway again if required, and all would recommend it to other patients.
CONCLUSION: A 23-hour-stay laparoscopic colectomy is possible with modification of the enhanced recovery program. Patients find it acceptable and it seems to be safe.