Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery: A Case-Matched Analysis of Perioperative and Pain Outcomes

Kimberley L. Kiong, Catherine N. Vu, Christopher M.K.L. Yao, Brittany Kruse, Gang Zheng, Peirong Yu, Randal S. Weber, Carol M. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) pathways are well established in certain surgical specialties because findings have shown significant improvements in outcomes. Convincing literature in head and neck cancer (HNC) surgery is lacking. This study aimed to assess the effect of an ERAS pathway on National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP)-based occurrences and pain-related outcomes in HNC surgery. Methods: The study matched 200 patients undergoing head and neck oncologic surgery on an ERAS pathway between 1 March 2016 and 31 March 2019 with control subjects (1:1 ratio) during the same period. Demographic and perioperative data collected from the NSQIP database were extracted. Pain scores and medication usage were electronically extracted from our electronic medical record system and compared. Risk factors for high opioid usage also were assessed. Results: Both groups were statistically similar in baseline characteristics. The ERAS group had fewer planned intensive care unit (ICU) admissions (4% vs. 14%; p < 0.001), a shorter mean hospital stay (7.2 ± 2.3 vs. 8.7 ± 4.2 days; p < 0.001), and fewer overall complications (18.6% vs. 27.0%; p = 0.045). Morphine milligram equivalent requirements over 72 h were significantly reduced during 72 h in the ERAS group (138.8 ± 181.5 vs. 207.9 ± 205.5; p < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, the risk factors for high opioid analgesic usage included preoperative opioid usage, age younger than 65 years, race, patient-controlled analgesia use, and ICU admission. Conclusion: The study findings showed that ERAS in HNC surgery can result in improved outcomes and resource use, and that these results are sustainable. The outcomes described in this report can be further used to optimize ERAS pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-876
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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