Publications by authors named "Nicolò Pecorelli"

59 Publications

Pancreaticoduodenectomy in octogenarians: The importance of "biological age" on clinical outcomes.

Surg Oncol 2021 Nov 24;40:101688. Epub 2021 Nov 24.

Gemelli Pancreatic Center, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "Agostino Gemelli" IRCCS, Largo Agostino Gemelli, 8, 00168, Rome, Italy; CRMPG (Advanced Pancreatic Research Center), Largo Agostino Gemelli, 8, 00168, Rome, Italy; Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Roma, Largo Francesco Vito 1, 00168, Rome, Italy.

Introduction: With the prolongation of life expectancy, an increasing number of elderly patients are evaluated for pancreatic surgery. However, the influence of increasing age on outcomes after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) is still unclear, especially in octogenarians. Aim of this study is to evaluate the perioperative characteristics and outcomes of octogenarians undergoing PD.

Methods: Data for 812 patients undergoing PD between 2019 and 2020 in 10 referral centers in Italy were reviewed. Patients aged 80 years or older were matched based on nearest neighbor propensity scores in a 1:1 ratio to patients younger than 80 years. Propensity scores were calculated using 7 perioperative variables including gender, ASA score, neoadjuvant treatment (NAT), biliary stent positioning, type of surgical approach (open, laparoscopic, robot-assisted), associated vascular resections, type of lesion. Perioperative characteristics and short-term postoperative outcomes were compared before and after matching.

Results: Overall, 81 (10%) patients had 80 years or more. Before matching, octogenarians had a higher rate of ASA score≥ 3 (n = 35, 43.2% vs. n = 207, 28.3%; p = 0.005) and less frequently underwent NAT (n = 11, 13.6% vs. n = 213, 29.1%; p = 0.003). Matching was successfully performed for 70 octogenarians. After matching, no differences in preoperative and intraoperative characteristics were found. Postoperatively, ICU admission was more frequent in octogenarians (50% vs 30%; p = 0.01). Although in-hospital mortality was higher in octogenarians before matching (7.4% vs 2.9% in the younger cohort; p = 0.03), no difference was noted between the matched cohorts (p = 0.36). Postoperative morbidity was comparable between groups in the whole and selected populations. At the multivariate analysis, chronological age was not recognized as a prognostic factor for cumulative major complications, while ASA ≥3 was the only confirmed influencing feature (OR 2.98; 95%CI: 1.6-6.8; p = 0.009).

Conclusio: In high-volume centers, PD in octogenarians shows similar outcomes than younger patients. Age itself should not be considered an exclusion criterion for PD, but a focused preoperative assessment is essential for adequate patient selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.suronc.2021.101688DOI Listing
November 2021

Quantitative assessment of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pancreatic surgery: an Italian multicenter analysis of 1423 cases from 10 tertiary referral centers.

Updates Surg 2021 Nov 24. Epub 2021 Nov 24.

Department of Surgery, Gemelli Pancreatic Center, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "Agostino Gemelli", IRCCS, Largo Agostino Gemelli, 8, 00168, Rome, Italy.

Few evidences are present on the consequences of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on pancreatic surgery. Aim of this study is to evaluate how COVID-19 influenced the diagnostic and therapeutic pathways of surgical pancreatic diseases. A comparative analysis of surgical volumes and clinical, surgical and perioperative outcomes in ten Italian referral centers was conducted between the first semester 2020 and 2019. One thousand four hundred and twenty-three consecutive patients were included in the analysis: 638 from 2020 and 785 from 2019. Surgical volume in 2020 decreased by 18.7% (p < 0.0001). Benign/precursors diseases (- 43.4%; p < 0.0001) and neuroendocrine tumors (- 33.6%; p = 0.008) were the less treated diseases. No difference was reported in terms of discussed cases at the multidisciplinary tumor board (p = 0.43), mean time between diagnosis and neoadjuvant treatment (p = 0.91), indication to surgery and surgical resection (p = 0.35). Laparoscopic and robot-assisted procedures dropped by 45.4% and 61.9%, respectively, during the lockdown weeks of 2020. No difference was documented for post-operative intensive care unit accesses (p = 0.23) and post-operative mortality (p = 0.06). The surgical volume decrease in 2020 will potentially lead, in the near future, to the diagnosis of a higher rate of advanced stage diseases. However, the reassessment of the Italian Health Service kept guarantying an adequate level of care in tertiary referral centers. Clinicaltrials.gov ID: NCT04380766.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13304-021-01171-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8611384PMC
November 2021

The impact of preoperative anemia on pancreatic resection outcomes.

HPB (Oxford) 2021 Oct 6. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

Division of Pancreatic Surgery, Pancreas Translational & Clinical Research Center, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy; Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Preoperative anemia is a risk factor for blood transfusions and delayed postoperative recovery, but few data are available for pancreatic surgery. Aim of the study was to analyze the impact of preoperative anemia on outcomes after pancreatic resection.

Methods: Retrospective review of 1107 patients resected at San Raffaele Hospital (2015-2018). Preoperative anemia was defined as hemoglobin lower than 130 g/L for men and 120 g/L for women. Primary outcome was 90-day comprehensive complication index (CCI). Analysis was stratified according to type of surgery; proximal resections (pancreaticoduodenectomy and total pancreatectomy) versus distal pancreatectomy.

Results: In 776 proximal resection patients, preoperative anemia was associated with increased CCI (24 ± 25 vs. 19 ± 23, p = 0.018) and perioperative allogenic blood transfusions (n = 124, 46% vs. n = 129, 26%; p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that anemia was associated with a 7% (95%CI 0.02-0.57 p = 0.047) increase in CCI, and was an independent factor associated with perioperative blood transfusion (OR 2.762, 95%CI 1.72-4.49, p < 0.001). In 331 distal pancreatectomies, anemia was not associated to increased morbidity but only to an increased risk of perioperative blood transfusion.

Conclusion: Preoperative anemia is an independent risk factor for increased complication severity and blood transfusion in patients undergoing major pancreatic resection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hpb.2021.09.022DOI Listing
October 2021

Evaluation of factors predicting loss of benefit provided by laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy compared to open approach.

Updates Surg 2021 Oct 23. Epub 2021 Oct 23.

Pancreatic Surgery Unit, Pancreas Translational and Clinical Research Center, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Via Olgettina 60, 20132, Milan, Italy.

Several studies showed safety and feasibility of laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP) as compared to open distal pancreatectomy (ODP). Patients who underwent LDP or ODP (2015-2019) were included. A 1:1 propensity score matching (PSM) was used to reduce the effect of treatment selection bias. Aim of this study was to identify those factors influencing the loss of benefit (defined as a significantly better outcome compared to ODP) after LDP. Overall, 387 patients underwent DP (n = 250 LDP, n = 137 ODP). After PSM, 274 patients (n = 137 LDP, n = 137 ODP) were selected. LDP was associated with reduced intraoperative blood loss (median: 200 mL vs. 250 mL, p < 0.001), decreased wound infection rate (1% vs. 9%, p = 0.044) and shorter time to functional recovery (TFR) (median: 4 days vs. 5 days, p = 0.002). Consequently, TFR > 5 days and blood loss > 250 mL were defined as loss of benefit after LDP. In the LDP group, age > 70 years [Odds Ratio (OR) 2.744, p = 0.022] and duration of surgery > 208 min (OR 2.957, p = 0.019) were predictors of TFR > 5 days and intraoperative blood loss > 250 mL, respectively. No differences in terms of TFR were found between ODP and LDP groups in patients > 70 years (p = 0.102). Intraoperative blood loss was significantly higher in the ODP group, also when the analysis was limited to surgical procedures with operative time > 208 min (p = 0.003). In conclusion, LDP seems comparable to ODP in terms of TFR in patients aged > 70 years. This finding could be helpful in the choice of the best surgical approach in elderly patients undergoing potentially challenging DPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13304-021-01194-1DOI Listing
October 2021

Pain management, fluid therapy and thromboprophylaxis after pancreatoduodenectomy: a worldwide survey among surgeons.

HPB (Oxford) 2021 Sep 24. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: The aim of this survey was to assess practices regarding pain management, fluid therapy and thromboprophylaxis in patients undergoing pancreatoduodenectomy on a global basis.

Methods: This survey study among surgeons from eight (inter)national scientific societies was performed according to the CHERRIES guideline.

Results: Overall, 236 surgeons completed the survey. ERAS protocols are used by 61% of surgeons and respectively 82%, 93%, 57% believed there is a relationship between pain management, fluid therapy, and thromboprophylaxis and clinical outcomes. Epidural analgesia (50%) was most popular followed by intravenous morphine (24%). A restrictive fluid therapy was used by 58% of surgeons. Chemical thromboprophylaxis was used by 88% of surgeons. Variations were observed between continents, most interesting being the choice for analgesic technique (transversus abdominis plane block was popular in North America), restrictive fluid therapy (little use in Asia and Oceania) and duration of chemical thromboprophylaxis (large variation).

Conclusion: The results of this international survey showed that only 61% of surgeons practice ERAS protocols. Although the majority of surgeons presume a relationship between pain management, fluid therapy and thromboprophylaxis and clinical outcomes, variations in practices were observed. Additional studies are needed to further optimize, standardize and implement ERAS protocols after pancreatic surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hpb.2021.09.006DOI Listing
September 2021

Prognostic value of the Duke Activity Status Index (DASI) in patients undergoing colorectal surgery.

World J Surg 2021 Dec 27;45(12):3677-3685. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

Division of Experimental Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Background: Complications are common after colorectal surgery and remain a target for quality improvement. Lower preoperative physical functioning is associated with poor postoperative outcomes, but assessment often relies on subjective judgment or resource-intensive tests. Recent literature suggests that self-reported functional capacity, measured using the Duke Activity Status Index (DASI), is a strong predictor of postoperative outcomes. This study aimed to estimate the extent to which DASI predicts 30-day complications after colorectal surgery.

Methods: In this observational study, 100 patients undergoing colorectal resection [median age 63, 57% men, 81% laparoscopic, 37% rectal surgery] responded to DASI two weeks preoperatively. Complications were classified according to Clavien-Dindo and quantified using the comprehensive complication index (CCI). Our primary analysis targeted the relationship between preoperative DASI and odds of complications. Secondary analyses focused on 30-day severe complications, CCI, readmissions, and length of stay (LOS). We also explored the predictive ability of DASI with scores dichotomized based on a previously validated threshold (≤ 34).

Results: Mean preoperative DASI was 48 ± 12. Forty-six patients (46%) experienced 30-day complications (8% severe, CCI 9.6 ± 15). Lower DASI scores were associated with higher odds of complications (OR 1.08, 95%CI 1.03-1.14; p = 0.001). Preoperative DASI was also an independent predictor of severe complications, CCI, and readmissions. The predictive ability was supported when scores were dichotomized at ≤ 34.

Conclusion: DASI is a significant predictor of postoperative complications after colorectal surgery. This questionnaire can be easily implemented in clinical practice to identify patients with low preoperative functional capacity and target interventions to those at higher risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00268-021-06256-4DOI Listing
December 2021

Preoperative risk stratification of postoperative pancreatic fistula: A risk-tree predictive model for pancreatoduodenectomy.

Surgery 2021 Jul 24. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Department of General and Pancreatic Surgery, Verona University Hospital, Italy.

Background: Existing postoperative pancreatic fistula risk scores rely on intraoperative parameters, which limits their value in the preoperative setting. A preoperative predictive model to stratify the risk of developing postoperative pancreatic fistula before pancreatoduodenectomy was built and externally validated.

Methods: A regression risk-tree model for preoperative postoperative pancreatic fistula risk stratification was developed in the Verona University Hospital training cohort using preoperative variables and then tested prospectively in a validation cohort of patients who underwent pancreatoduodenectomy at San Raffaele Hospital of Milan.

Results: In the study period 566 (training cohort) and 456 (validation cohort) patients underwent pancreatoduodenectomy. In the multivariable analysis body mass index, radiographic main pancreatic duct diameter and American Society of Anesthesiologists score ≥3 were independently associated with postoperative pancreatic fistula. The regression tree analysis allocated patients into 3 preoperative risk groups with an 8%, 21%, and 32% risk of postoperative pancreatic fistula (all P < .01) based on main pancreatic duct diameter (≥ or <5 mm) and body mass index (≥ or <25). The 3 groups were labeled low, intermediate, and high risk and consisted of 206 (37%), 188 (33%), and 172 (30%) patients, respectively. The risk-tree was applied to validation cohort, successfully reproducing 3 risk groups with significantly different postoperative pancreatic fistula risks (all P < .01).

Conclusion: In candidates for pancreatoduodenectomy, the risk of postoperative pancreatic fistula can be quickly and accurately determined in the preoperative setting based on the body mass index and main pancreatic duct diameter at radiology. Preoperative risk stratification could potentially guide clinical decision-making, improve patient counseling and allow the establishment of personalized preoperative protocols.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2021.06.046DOI Listing
July 2021

Understanding the Meaning of Recovery to Patients Undergoing Abdominal Surgery.

JAMA Surg 2021 Aug;156(8):758-765

Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Québec, Canada.

Importance: Postoperative recovery is difficult to define or measure. Research addressing interventions aimed to improve recovery after abdominal surgery often focuses on measures such as duration of hospital stay and complication rates. Although these clinical parameters are relevant, understanding patients' perspectives regarding postoperative recovery is fundamental to guiding patient-centered care.

Objective: To elucidate the meaning of recovery from the perspective of patients undergoing abdominal surgery.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This international qualitative study involved semistructured interviews with patients recovering from abdominal surgery from October 2016 to November 2018 in tertiary hospitals in 4 countries (Canada, Italy, Brazil, and Japan). A purposive maximal variation sampling method was used to ensure the recruitment of patients with varying demographic, clinical, and surgical characteristics. Data on race were not collected. Each interview lasted between 1 and 2 hours. Interviews were recorded and then transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were then analyzed using an inductive thematic analysis approach. Data analysis was conducted from July 2019 to September 2019.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The qualitative analysis revealed themes reflecting the meaning of recovery from the perspective of patients undergoing abdominal surgery.

Results: Thirty patients recovering from abdominal surgery were interviewed (15 [50%] female; mean [SD] age, 57 [18] years; 10 [33%] underwent major surgery; 16 [53%] underwent laparoscopic surgery). The interviews revealed that for patients undergoing abdominal surgery, the meaning of recovery embodied 5 overarching themes: (1) returning to habits and routines, (2) resolution of symptoms, (3) overcoming mental strains, (4) regaining independence, and (5) enjoying life. Themes associating the meaning of recovery to traditional parameters, such as earlier hospital discharge or absence of complications, were not identified in the interviews.

Conclusions And Relevance: This qualitative study suggests that the meaning of recovery from the perspective of patients undergoing abdominal surgery goes beyond traditional clinical parameters. The elements of recovery identified in this study should be taken into account in patient-surgeon discussions about recovery and when developing patient-centered strategies to improve postoperative outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2021.1557DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8117063PMC
August 2021

Impact of care pathway adherence on recovery following distal pancreatectomy within an enhanced recovery program.

HPB (Oxford) 2021 Apr 27. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Division of Pancreatic Surgery, Pancreas Translational & Clinical Research Center, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy; Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: In bowel surgery, adherence to enhanced recovery program (ERP) has been associated with improved recovery. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of adherence to ERP elements on outcomes, and identify factors associated with successful recovery following distal pancreatectomy (DP).

Methods: Data for 376 patients who underwent DP managed within an ERP including 16 perioperative elements were reviewed. Primary endpoint was successful recovery, a composite outcome defined as length of hospital stay≤7 days, no severe complications nor readmissions.

Results: Patients had a mean (SD) overall adherence of 76 (14)%. Overall, 166 (44%) patients had a successful recovery. There was a positive association between overall adherence and successful recovery (OR 1.19, 95%CI 1.08-1.31 for every additional element, p = 0.001), while an inverse relationship was found with comprehensive complication index (8% reduction, 95%CI -15 to -2%, p = 0.011). Adherence to postoperative phase interventions had the greatest impact on recovery (OR 1.29, 95%CI 1.13-1.47 for every additional postoperative element; p < 0.001). At multivariable regression, early termination of IV fluids was the only ERP element associated with successful recovery (OR 2.80, 95%CI 1.73-4.54; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Increased adherence to ERP elements was associated with successful early recovery and reduction of postoperative complication severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hpb.2021.04.016DOI Listing
April 2021

The role of acinar content at pancreatic resection margin in the development of postoperative pancreatic fistula and acute pancreatitis after pancreaticoduodenectomy.

Surgery 2021 10 28;170(4):1215-1222. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Pancreatic Surgery Unit, Pancreas Translational & Clinical Research Center, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy; Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: A fatty infiltration of the pancreas has been traditionally regarded as the main histological risk factor for postoperative pancreatic fistula, whereas the role of the secreting acinar compartment has been poorly investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of acinar content at the pancreatic resection margin in the development of clinically relevant postoperative pancreatic fistula and clinically relevant postoperative acute pancreatitis after pancreaticoduodenectomy.

Methods: Data from 388 consecutive patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy (2018-2019) were analyzed. Pancreatic section margins were histologically assessed for acinar, fibrosis, and fat content. Acinar content was categorized using median and third quartile as cut-offs. Univariate and multivariable analysis of possible predictors of clinically relevant postoperative pancreatic fistula and clinically relevant postoperative acute pancreatitis were performed.

Results: Acinar content was <60% in 166 patients (42.8%), ≥60% and ≤80% in 156 patients (40.2%), and >80% in 66 patients (17.0%). The rate of clinically relevant postoperative pancreatic fistula and clinically relevant postoperative acute pancreatitis was significantly higher in patients with acinar content >80% (39.4% and 33.3%, respectively) as well as in those with acinar content ≥60% and ≤80% (36.5% and 35.3%, respectively), compared with patients with acinar content <60% (10.2% and 5.4%, respectively) (P < .001). Acinar content was identified as an independent predictor of clinically relevant postoperative pancreatic fistula (≥60% and ≤80%, odds ratio 2.51, P = .008; >80%, odds ratio 2.93, P = .010) and clinically relevant postoperative acute pancreatitis (≥60% and ≤80%, odds ratio 9.42, P < .001; >80%, odds ratio 10.16, P < .001).

Conclusion: An acinar content at the pancreatic resection margin ≥60% is associated to an increased risk of clinically relevant postoperative pancreatic fistula and clinically relevant postoperative acute pancreatitis. Fat content was associated neither with clinically relevant postoperative pancreatic fistula nor with clinically relevant postoperative acute pancreatitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2021.03.047DOI Listing
October 2021

R Status is a Relevant Prognostic Factor for Recurrence and Survival After Pancreatic Head Resection for Ductal Adenocarcinoma.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Aug 3;28(8):4602-4612. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Division of Pancreatic Surgery, Pancreas Translational and Clinical Research Center, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milano, Italy.

Background: The prognostic role of resection margins in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is debated. This study aimed to investigate the impact that global and individual resection margin status after pancreatic head resection for PDAC has on disease-free survival (DFS) and disease-specific survival (DSS).

Methods: Surgical specimens of pancreaticoduodenectomy/total pancreatectomy performed for PDAC were examined with a standardized protocol. Surgical margin status (biliary, pancreatic neck, duodenal, anterior and posterior pancreatic, superior mesenteric vein groove and superior mesenteric artery margins) was classified as the presence of malignant cells (1) directly at the inked surface (R1 direct), (2) within less than 1 mm (R1 ≤ 1 mm), or (3) with a distance greater than 1 mm (R0). Patients with a positive neck margin at the final histology were excluded from the study.

Results: Of the 362 patients included in the study, 179 patients (49.4 %) had an R0 resection, 123 patients (34 %) had an R1 ≤ 1 mm resection, and 60 patients (16.6 %) had an R1 direct resection. The independent predictors of DFS were R1 direct resection (hazard ratio [HR], 1.49), R1 ≤ 1 mm resection (HR, 1.38), involvement of one margin (HR, 1.36), and involvement of two margins or more (HR, 1.55). When surgical margins were analyzed separately, only R1 ≤ 1 mm superior mesenteric vein margin (HR, 1.58) and R1 direct posterior margin (HR, 1.69) were independently associated with DFS.

Conclusions: Positive R status is an independent predictor of DFS (R1 direct and R1 ≤ 1 mm definitions) and of DSS (R1 direct). The presence of multiple positive margins is a risk factor for cancer recurrence and poor survival. Different surgical margins could have different prognostic roles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-09467-6DOI Listing
August 2021

A four-step method to centralize pancreatic surgery, accounting for volume, performance and access to care.

HPB (Oxford) 2021 Jul 27;23(7):1095-1104. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Division of Pancreatic Surgery, Pancreas Translational and Clinical Research Center, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Via Olgettina 60, 20132, Milan, Italy.

Background: Adequate criteria for pancreatic surgery centralization are debated. This retrospective study aimed to define a reproducible method for complex care centralization, accounting for hospital performance and access to care.

Methods: The method consisted in: 1. Analysis of overall outcome and mortality-related factors. 2. Assessment of volume and adjusted mortality of each hospital. 3. Definition of different centralization models. 4. Final adjustments to guarantee access to care, evaluating travel times and waiting lists. This method was tested on Lombardy, the most populous Italian region (about 10 million inhabitants, 24 000 km).

Results: According to Ministry of Health data, 79 hospitals performed 3037 resections in 2014-2016. Mean overall mortality was 5.0%, increasing from 2.3%, of seven high-volume facilities (>30 resections/year) to 10.7% of 56 low-volume facilities (<10 resections/year). Five centralization models were tested (range: 7-23 hospitals): the best performing model included seven high-volume facilities, providing both low mortality (<2%), and easy access to care, namely reasonable travel time (≤60 min for >90% of the population), and limited impact on waiting list (1.1 extra-resection/hospital/week).

Conclusion: The four-step method appears as a flexible tool to centralize pancreatic surgery, allowing regulatory institutions to estimate the effect of different models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hpb.2020.11.006DOI Listing
July 2021

The impact of minimally invasive surgery on hospital readmissions, emergency department visits and functional recovery after distal pancreatectomy.

Surg Endosc 2021 10 6;35(10):5740-5751. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Division of Pancreatic Surgery, Pancreas Translational & Clinical Research Center, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Via Olgettina 60, 20132, Milan, Italy.

Background: A recent RCT showed similar postoperative outcomes and a reduced time to functional recovery in patients undergoing minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy (DP) compared to open approach. However, it reported very-high post-discharge readmission rates, calling for further investigation. The aim of our study was to evaluate the extent to which minimally invasive surgery impacts on postoperative readmissions following DP.

Methods: Clinical data for patients undergoing DP between 2011 and 2018 were reviewed. Primary outcome was hospital readmission at 90 days after surgery. Secondary outcomes included post-discharge emergency department (ED) visits and time to functional recovery. Regression analyses were performed to evaluate the impact of the laparoscopic approach and other perioperative factors.

Results: Overall, 376 consecutive patients underwent DP during the study period. Laparoscopy was successfully performed in 219 (58%) patients. Overall, 62 patients (16.5%) returned to the ED after discharge, 41 (18.7%) of laparoscopically operated patients, and 21 (13.4%) of those undergoing open surgery (p = 0.162). Forty-six (12.2%) of them required readmission, 31 (14.2%) after laparoscopic, and 15 (9.6%) after open procedures (p = 0.179). At multivariate regression, a low preoperative physical status (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2-4.7; p = 0.017), occurrence of pancreatic fistula (OR 6.8, 95% CI 2.9-15.9; p < 0.001), and post-pancreatectomy hemorrhage (OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.2-13.1; p = 0.025) were significantly associated with 90-day readmission, while laparoscopy had no impact. Median time to reach functional recovery was 5 (IQR 4-6) days. At multivariate analysis, laparoscopy reduced time to functional recovery by 13% (95% CI - 19 to - 6%; p < 0.001), time to adequate oral intake by 19% (95% CI - 27 to - 10%; p < 0.001), and time to adequate pain control by 12% (95% CI - 18 to - 5%; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Hospital readmissions and ED visits following DP were not influenced by the surgical approach. A low preoperative physical status, occurrence of postoperative pancreatic fistula and hemorrhage were significantly associated with post-discharge readmission within 90 days. Laparoscopy reduced time to functional recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-020-08051-zDOI Listing
October 2021

Pancreatic metastasis of papillary thyroid carcinoma with an intraductal growth pattern.

Endoscopy 2020 12 12;52(12):E452-E453. Epub 2020 May 12.

Pancreato-Biliary Endoscopy and Endosonography Division, Pancreas Translational and Clinical Research Center, San Raffaele Scientific Institute IRCCS, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1164-6157DOI Listing
December 2020

Preoperative predictive factors of laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy difficulty.

HPB (Oxford) 2020 12 25;22(12):1766-1774. Epub 2020 Apr 25.

Pancreatic Surgery Unit, Pancreas Translational and Clinical Research Center, San Raffaele Scientific Institute IRCCS, Milan, Italy; "Vita-Salute San Raffaele" University, Milan, Italy. Electronic address:

Background: Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP) is a challenging operation due to technical complexity and tumor-related factors. Aim of this study was to identify preoperative risk factors affecting LDP difficulty.

Methods: Consecutive patients who underwent LDP between 2015 and 2018 at San Raffaele Hospital and Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi Hospital were enrolled retrospectively. Three variables were used to define surgical difficulty: conversion to open, duration of surgery >3rd quartile and intraoperative blood loss >3rd quartile. The presence of ≥1 of these 3 variables was considered as another measure of difficulty.

Results: Overall, 191 patients were included. Conversion to open was required in 25 patients (13%). At multiple regression analysis, tumor proximity to major vessels was the only independent predictor of conversion from laparoscopic to open (p < 0.001). No variables independently predicted an excessive duration of surgery. Male gender (p = 0.033) and increasing parenchymal thickness at resection line (p = 0.018) were independent predictors of excessive blood loss. Increasing parenchymal thickness at resection line (p = 0.014) and tumor proximity to major vessels (p = 0.002) were significant risk factors for the presence of ≥1 outcome of surgical difficulty.

Conclusion: Male gender, increasing parenchymal thickness at resection line and tumor proximity to major vessels represent preoperative risk factors of LDP difficulty.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hpb.2020.04.002DOI Listing
December 2020

Impact of Facilitation of Early Mobilization on Postoperative Pulmonary Outcomes After Colorectal Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Ann Surg 2021 05;273(5):868-875

Department of Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Objective: To estimate the extent to which staff-directed facilitation of early mobilization impacts recovery of pulmonary function and 30-day postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs) after colorectal surgery.

Summary Background Data: Early mobilization after surgery is believed to improve pulmonary function and prevent PPCs; however, adherence is low. The value of allocating resources (eg, staff time) to increase early mobilization is unknown.

Methods: This study involved the analysis of a priori secondary outcomes of a pragmatic, observer-blind, randomized trial. Consecutive patients undergoing colorectal surgery were randomized 1:1 to usual care (preoperative education) or facilitated mobilization (staff dedicated to assist transfers and walking during hospital stay). Forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and peak cough flow were measured preoperatively and at 1, 2, 3 days and 4 weeks after surgery. PPCs were defined according to the European Perioperative Clinical Outcome Taskforce.

Results: Ninety-nine patients (57% male, 80% laparoscopic, median age 63, and predicted FEV1 97%) were included in the intention-to-treat analysis (usual care 49, facilitated mobilization 50). There was no between-group difference in recovery of forced vital capacity [adjusted difference in slopes 0.002 L/d (95% CI -0.01 to 0.01)], FEV1 [-0.002 L/d (-0.01 to 0.01)] or peak cough flow [-0.002 L/min/d (-0.02 to 0.02)]. Thirty-day PPCs were also not different between groups [adjusted odds ratio 0.67 (0.23-1.99)].

Conclusions: In this randomized controlled trial, staff-directed facilitation of early mobilization did not improve postoperative pulmonary function or reduce PPCs within an enhanced recovery pathway for colorectal surgery.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02131844.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000003919DOI Listing
May 2021

Postoperative Outcomes and Functional Recovery After Preoperative Combination Chemotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer: A Propensity Score-Matched Study.

Front Oncol 2019 26;9:1299. Epub 2019 Nov 26.

Division of Pancreatic Surgery, Pancreas Translational & Clinical Research Center, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Previous studies show encouraging oncologic outcomes for neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) in the setting of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, recent literature reported an increased clinical burden in patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) following NACT. Therefore, the aim of our study was to assess the impact of NACT on postoperative outcomes and recovery after PD. A retrospective propensity score-matched study was performed including all patients who underwent PD for PDAC in a single center between 2015 and 2018. Patients treated with NACT for resectable, borderline resectable or locally advanced PDAC were matched based on nearest neighbor propensity scores in a 1:1 ratio to patients who underwent upfront resection. Propensity scores were calculated using 7 perioperative variables, including gender, age, BMI, ASA score, Charlson-Deyo comorbidity score, fistula risk score (FRS), vascular resection. Primary outcome was the number and severity of complications at 90-days after surgery measured by the comprehensive complication index (CCI). Data are reported as median (IQR) or number of patients (%). Of 283 resected patients, 95 (34%) were treated with NACT. Before matching, NACT patients were younger, had less comorbidities (Charlson-Deyo score 0 vs. 1, = 0.04), similar FRS [2 (0-3) for both groups], and more vascular resections performed [ = 28 (30%) vs. = 26 (14%), < 0.01]. After propensity-score matching, preoperative and intraoperative characteristics were comparable. Postoperatively, CCI was similar between groups [8.7 (0-29.6) for both groups, = 0.59]. NACT patients had a non-statistically significant increase in superficial incisional surgical site infections [ = 12 (13%) vs. 6 (6%), = 0.14], while no difference was found for overall infectious complications and organ-space SSI. The occurrence of clinically-relevant pancreatic fistula was similar between groups [10 (11%) vs. 13 (14%), = 0.51]. No difference was found between groups for length of hospital stay [8 (7-15) vs. 8 (7-14) days, = 0.62], and functional recovery outcomes. After propensity score adjustment for perioperative risk factors, NACT did not worsen postoperative outcomes and functional recovery following PD for PDAC compared to upfront resection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2019.01299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6901953PMC
November 2019

Changes in body composition during neoadjuvant therapy can affect prognosis in rectal cancer patients: An exploratory study.

Curr Probl Cancer 2020 04 1;44(2):100510. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

Department of Surgery, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy; Vita-Salute University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Aim: To establish the correlation between changes in body composition after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) and postoperative outcomes, in patients with advanced low rectal cancer.

Methods: Patients with clinical stage T≥3 or N+ rectal cancer who underwent nCRT and surgical resection were studied. Skeletal muscle, visceral, and subcutaneous fat cross-sectional area were measured by computed tomography before and after nCRT. Postoperative morbidity, pathologic response to nCRT, overall and disease-free survival was assessed.

Results: Fifty-two patients, median age 62 (range 32-79) were studied. A skeletal muscle loss >2% significantly correlated with a shorter disease-free survival both in the overall population (P = 0.048) and in the subgroup of N0 patients (P = 0.048). A subcutaneous fat loss >5% was also associated with a shorter disease-free survival (P = 0.012) in the whole population.

Conclusions: Skeletal muscle loss, after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, negatively impacts on disease-free survival in surgically treated rectal cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.currproblcancer.2019.100510DOI Listing
April 2020

Preventing opioid prescription after major surgery: a scoping review of opioid-free analgesia.

Br J Anaesth 2019 11 25;123(5):627-636. Epub 2019 Sep 25.

Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada; Department of Surgery, McGill University, Canada McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; Division of Experimental Surgery, McGill University, Canada McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Background: Excessive opioid prescribing after surgery has been recognised as a contributor to the current crisis of opioid addiction and overdose. Clinicians may potentially tackle this crisis by using opioid-free postoperative analgesia; however, the scientific literature addressing this approach is sparse and heterogeneous, thereby limiting robust conclusions. A scoping review was conducted to systematically map the extent, range, and nature of the literature addressing postoperative opioid-free analgesia.

Methods: Eight bibliographic databases were searched for studies addressing opioid-free analgesia after a major surgery. We extracted the study characteristics, including design, country, year, surgical procedure(s), and interventions. Results were organised thematically according to surgical specialty and targeted phase of recovery: in hospital (early recovery, ≤24 h after operation; intermediate recovery, >24 h) and post-discharge (late recovery). Reporting was according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement for scoping reviews.

Results: We identified 424 studies addressing postoperative opioid-free analgesia. The number of studies conducted in countries where the opioid crisis is primarily focused was remarkably low (USA, n=11 [3%]; Canada, n=5 [1%]). Many RCTs compared opioid-free vs opioid analgesia during hospital stay (n=117), but few targeted analgesia post-discharge (n=8). Studies were predominantly focused on procedures in orthopaedic, general, and gynaecological/obstetric surgery. Limited attention has been directed towards non-pharmacological pain interventions. We did not identify knowledge synthesis studies (i.e. systematic reviews and meta-analyses) focused on the comparative effectiveness of opioid-free vs opioid analgesia.

Conclusions: Opioids remain a mainstay analgesic for managing pain after surgery, but alternative analgesia strategies should not be overlooked. This scoping review indicates numerous opportunities for future research targeting opioid-free postoperative analgesia. REVIEW REGISTRATION: http://www.researchregistry.com; ID: reviewregistry576.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bja.2019.08.014DOI Listing
November 2019

Development of a conceptual framework of recovery after abdominal surgery.

Surg Endosc 2020 06 1;34(6):2665-2674. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Background: There is a lack of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) with robust measurement properties to assess postoperative recovery and support patient-centered care after abdominal surgery. The aim of this study was to establish a conceptual framework of recovery after abdominal surgery to support the development of a conceptually relevant and psychometrically sound PROM.

Methods: Patients from four different countries (Canada, Italy, Brazil, and Japan) participated in qualitative interviews focusing on their lived experiences of recovery after abdominal surgery. Interviews were guided by a previously developed hypothesized conceptual framework established based on a literature review and expert consensus. Interviews were analyzed according to a modified grounded theory approach and transcripts were coded according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Codes for which thematic saturation was reached were classified into domains of health that are relevant to the process of recovery after abdominal surgery. These domains were organized into a structured diagram.

Results: 30 Patients with diverse demographics and surgical characteristics were interviewed (50% female, age 57 ± 18 years, 66% major or major extended surgery). 39 Unique domains of recovery emerged from the interviews, 17 falling under the ICF category of "Body Functions" and 22 under "Activities and Participation". These domains constitute the conceptual framework of recovery after abdominal surgery.

Conclusions: This study provides comprehensive insight into patients' perspectives of the recovery process after abdominal surgery. This conceptual framework will support content validity and provide the pivotal basis for the development of a novel PROM to inform quality improvement initiatives and patient-centered research in abdominal surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-019-07044-xDOI Listing
June 2020

A mobile device application (app) to improve adherence to an enhanced recovery program for colorectal surgery: a randomized controlled trial.

Surg Endosc 2020 02 13;34(2):742-751. Epub 2019 May 13.

Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University Health Centre, 1650 Cedar Ave, L9.309, Montreal, QC, H3G 1A4, Canada.

Background: Increased adherence with enhanced recovery pathways (ERP) is associated with improved outcomes. However, adherence to postoperative elements that rely on patient participation remains suboptimal. Mobile device apps may improve delivery of health education material and have the potential to foster behavior change and improve patient compliance. The objective of this study was to estimate the extent to which a novel mobile device app affects adherence to an ERP for colorectal surgery in comparison to standard written education.

Methods: This was a superiority, parallel-group, assessor-blind, sham-controlled randomized trial involving 97 patients undergoing colorectal resection. Participants were randomly assigned with a 1:1 ratio into one of two groups: (1) iPad including a novel mobile device app for postoperative education and self-assessment of recovery, or (2) iPad without the app. The primary outcome measure was mean adherence (%) to a bundle of five postoperative ERP elements requiring patient participation: mobilization, gastrointestinal motility stimulation, breathing exercises, and consumption of oral liquids and nutritional drinks.

Results: In the intervention group, app usage was high (94% completed surveys on POD0, 82% on POD1, 72% on POD2). Mean overall adherence to the bundle on the two first postoperative days was similar between groups: 59% (95% CI 52-66%) in the intervention group and 62% (95% CI 56-68%) in the control group [Adjusted mean difference 2.4% (95% CI - 5 to 10%) p = 0.53].

Conclusions: In this randomized trial, access to a mobile health application did not improve adherence to a well-established enhanced recovery pathway in colorectal surgery patients, when compared to standard written patient education. Future research should evaluate the impact of applications integrating novel behavioral change techniques, particularly in contexts where adherence is low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-019-06823-wDOI Listing
February 2020

The impact of improved functional capacity before surgery on postoperative complications: a study in colorectal cancer.

Acta Oncol 2019 May 6;58(5):573-578. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

b Department of Surgery , McGill University Health Center, Montreal General Hospital , Montréal , QC , Canada.

Poor functional capacity (FC) is an independent predictor of postoperative morbidity. However, there is still a lack of evidence as to whether enhancing FC before surgery has a protective effect on postoperative complications. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an improvement in preoperative FC impacted positively on surgical morbidity. This was a secondary analysis of a cohort of patients who underwent colorectal resection for cancer under Enhanced Recovery After Surgery care. FC was assessed with the 6-min walk test, which measures the distance walked in 6 min (6MWD), at 4 weeks before surgery and again the day before. The study population was classified into two groups depending on whether participants achieved a significant improvement in FC preoperatively (defined as a preoperative 6MWD change ≥19 meters) or not (6MWD change <19 meters). The primary outcome measure was 30-d postoperative complications, assessed with the Comprehensive Complication Index (CCI). The association between improved preoperative FC and severe postoperative complication was evaluated using multivariable logistic regression. A total of 179 eligible adults were studied: 80 (44.7%) improved in 6MWD by ≥19 m preoperatively, and 99 (55.3%) did not. Subjects whose FC increased had lower CCI (0 [0-8.7] versus 8.7 [0-22.6],  = .022). Furthermore, they were less likely to have a severe complication (adjusted OR 0.28 (95% CI 0.11-0.74),  = .010), and to have an ED visit. Improved preoperative FC was independently associated with a lower risk of severe postoperative complications. Further investigation is required to establish a causative relationship conclusively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0284186X.2018.1557343DOI Listing
May 2019

Does adherence to perioperative enhanced recovery pathway elements influence patient-reported recovery following colorectal resection?

Surg Endosc 2019 11 30;33(11):3806-3815. Epub 2019 Jan 30.

Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University Health Centre, 1650 Cedar Ave, E19-125, Montreal, QC, H3G 1A4, Canada.

Introduction: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are pivotal to promote patient-centered perioperative care. Adherence to enhanced recovery programs (ERPs) is associated with improved clinical outcomes (i.e., morbidity, length of stay), but the impact of adherence on PROMs is uncertain. The objective of this study was to evaluate the extent to which adherence to an ERP for colorectal surgery is associated with postoperative recovery as assessed using PROMs.

Methods And Procedures: 100 patients were included [median age 63 (IQR 50-71) years, 81 laparoscopic, 37 rectal surgery]. Overall adherence to the ERP and adherence to specific ERP elements were analyzed. Adjusted linear regression was used to evaluate the association of adherence with PROMs assessing early recovery [Abdominal surgery impact scale (ASIS) and Multidimensional fatigue inventory (MFI) on POD2] and late recovery (Duke Activity Status Index, RAND-36 Physical and Mental Summary Scores, Life-Space Mobility Assessment at 4 weeks after surgery). Missing data were addressed using multiple imputations.

Results: Median adherence to the ERP was 80% (16/20 elements, IQR 70-90%). Overall adherence was associated with ASIS scores on POD2 (4% increase per additional element, 95% CI 1-8%; p = 0.018). When specific ERP elements were analyzed, ASIS scores were associated with adherence to PONV prophylaxis (34% increase, 95% CI 5-63%; p = 0.023) and early solid food diet (20% increase, 95% CI 5-35%; p = 0.009). MFI General fatigue and MFI Mental fatigue scores on POD2 were associated with adherence to PONV prophylaxis (36% decrease, 95% CI - 64 to - 8%, p = 0.014 and 22% decrease, 95% CI - 44 to - 8%, p = 0.042). Overall adherence and adherence to specific elements were not associated with PROMs at 4 weeks after surgery.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that, from the perspective of patients, adherence to an ERP for colorectal surgery impacts early, but not late postoperative recovery. This result may reflect the lack of PROMs able to validly measure postoperative recovery beyond hospital discharge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-019-06684-3DOI Listing
November 2019

Construct Validity and Responsiveness of the Abdominal Surgery Impact Scale in the Context of Recovery After Colorectal Surgery.

Dis Colon Rectum 2019 03;62(3):309-317

Department of Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Background: The Abdominal Surgery Impact Scale is a patient-reported outcome measure that evaluates quality of life after abdominal surgery. Evidence supporting its measurement properties is limited.

Objective: This study aimed to contribute evidence for the construct validity and responsiveness of the Abdominal Surgery Impact Scale as a measure of recovery after colorectal surgery in the context of an enhanced recovery pathway.

Design: This is an observational validation study designed according to the Consensus-based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments checklist.

Setting: This study was conducted at a university-affiliated tertiary hospital.

Patients: Included were 100 consecutive patients undergoing colorectal surgery (mean age, 65; 57% male).

Intervention: There were no interventions.

Main Outcome Measures: Construct validity was assessed at 2 days and 2 and 4 weeks after surgery by testing the hypotheses that Abdominal Surgery Impact Scale scores were higher 1) in patients without vs with postoperative complications, 2) with higher preoperative physical status vs lower, 3) without vs with postoperative stoma, 4) in men vs women, 5) with shorter time to readiness for discharge (≤4 days) vs longer, and 6) with shorter length of stay (≤4 days) vs longer. To test responsiveness, we hypothesized that scores would be higher 1) preoperatively vs 2 days postoperatively, 2) at 2 weeks vs 2 days postoperatively, and 3) at 4 weeks vs 2 weeks postoperatively.

Results: The data supported 3 of the 6 hypotheses (hypotheses 1, 5, and 6) tested for construct validity at all time points. Two of the 3 hypotheses tested for responsiveness (hypotheses 1 and 2) were supported.

Limitations: This study was limited by the risk of selection bias due to the use of secondary data from a randomized controlled trial.

Conclusions: The Abdominal Surgery Impact Scale was responsive to the expected trajectory of recovery up to 2 weeks after surgery, but did not discriminate between all groups expected to have different recovery trajectories. There remains a need for the development of recovery-specific, patient-reported outcome measures with adequate measurement properties. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/A814.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/DCR.0000000000001288DOI Listing
March 2019

Incidence and predictors of prolonged postoperative ileus after colorectal surgery in the context of an enhanced recovery pathway.

Surg Endosc 2019 07 17;33(7):2313-2322. Epub 2018 Oct 17.

Department of Surgery, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada.

Background: Prolonged postoperative ileus (PPOI) is common after colorectal surgery but has not been widely studied in the context of enhanced recovery pathways (ERPs) that include interventions aimed to accelerate gastrointestinal recovery. The aim of this study is to estimate the incidence and predictors of PPOI in the context of an ERP for colorectal surgery.

Methods: We analyzed data from an institutional colorectal surgery ERP registry. Incidence of PPOI was estimated according to a definition adapted from Vather (intolerance of solid food and absence of flatus or bowel movement for ≥ 4 days) and compared to other definitions in the literature. Potential risk factors for PPOI were identified from previous studies, and their predictive ability was evaluated using Bayesian model averaging (BMA). Results are presented as posterior effect probability (PEP). Evidence of association was categorized as: no evidence (PEP < 50%), weak evidence (50-75%), positive evidence (75-95%), strong evidence (95-99%), and very strong evidence (> 99%).

Results: There were 323 patients analyzed (mean age 63.5 years, 51% males, 74% laparoscopic, 33% rectal resection). The incidence of PPOI was 19% according to the primary definition, but varied between 11 and 59% when using other definitions. On BMA analysis, intraoperative blood loss (PEP 99%; very strong evidence), administration of any intravenous opioids in the first 48 h (PEP 94%; strong evidence), postoperative epidural analgesia (PEP 56%; weak evidence), and non-compliance with intra-operative fluid management protocols (3 ml/kg/h for laparoscopic and 5 ml/kg/h for open; PEP 55%, weak evidence) were predictors of PPOI.

Conclusions: The incidence of PPOI after colorectal surgery is high even within an established ERP and varied considerably by diagnostic criteria, highlighting the need for a consensus definition. The use of intravenous opioids is a modifiable strong predictor of PPOI within an ERP, while the role of epidural analgesia and intraoperative fluid management should be further evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-018-6514-4DOI Listing
July 2019

Measuring In-Hospital Recovery After Colorectal Surgery Within a Well-Established Enhanced Recovery Pathway: A Comparison Between Hospital Length of Stay and Time to Readiness for Discharge.

Dis Colon Rectum 2018 Jul;61(7):854-860

Department of Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Background: Hospital length of stay is often used as a measure of in-hospital recovery but may be confounded by organizational factors. Time to readiness for discharge may provide a superior index of recovery.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to contribute evidence for the construct validity of time to readiness for discharge and length of stay as measures of in-hospital recovery after colorectal surgery in the context of a well-established enhanced recovery pathway.

Design: This was an observational validation study designed according to the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health status Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist.

Settings: The study was conducted at a university-affiliated tertiary hospital.

Patients: A total of 100 consecutive patients undergoing elective colorectal resection (mean age = 65 y; 57% men; 81% laparoscopic) who participated in a randomized controlled trial were included.

Main Outcome Measures: We tested a priori hypotheses that length of stay and time-to-readiness for discharge are longer in patients undergoing open surgery, with lower physical status, with severe comorbidities, with postoperative complications, undergoing rectal surgery, who are older (≥75 y), who have a new stoma, and who have inflammatory bowel disease.

Results: Median time-to-readiness for discharge and length of stay were both 3 days. For both measures, 6 of 8 construct validity hypotheses were supported (hypotheses 1 and 4-8).

Limitations: The use of secondary data from a randomized controlled trial (risk of selection bias) was a limitation. Results may not be generalizable to institutions where patient care is not equally structured.

Conclusions: This study contributes evidence to the construct validity of time-to-readiness for discharge and length of stay as measures of in-hospital recovery within enhanced recovery pathways. Our findings suggest that length of stay can be a less resource-intensive and equally construct-valid index of in-hospital recovery compared with time-to-readiness for discharge. Enhanced recovery pathways may decrease process-of-care variances that impact length of stay, allowing more timely discharge once discharge criteria are achieved. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/A564.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/DCR.0000000000001061DOI Listing
July 2018

In Reply.

Anesthesiology 2018 03;128(3):683-685

Montreal General Hospital, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (G.B.).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000002051DOI Listing
March 2018

Impact of Sarcopenic Obesity on Failure to Rescue from Major Complications Following Pancreaticoduodenectomy for Cancer: Results from a Multicenter Study.

Ann Surg Oncol 2018 Jan 7;25(1):308-317. Epub 2017 Nov 7.

Division of Pancreatic Surgery, Pancreas Translational & Clinical Research Center, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Background: Failure to rescue (FTR) is a quality-of-care indicator in pancreatic surgery, but may also identify patients who may not tolerate major postoperative complications despite being treated with best available care. Previous studies found that high visceral adipose tissue-to-skeletal muscle ratio is associated with poor outcomes following pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). The aim of the study is to assess the impact of sarcopenic obesity on occurrence of FTR from major complications in cancer patients undergoing PD.

Methods: Prospectively collected data from three high-volume hospitals were reviewed. Total abdominal muscle area (TAMA) and visceral fat area (VFA) were assessed at preoperative staging computed tomography scan. Sarcopenic obesity was defined as high VFA/TAMA ratio. FTR was defined as postoperative mortality following major complication.

Results: 120 patients with major complications were included. FTR occurred in 23 (19.2%) patients. The "seminal" complications leading to FTR were pancreatic or biliary fistula-related sepsis (n = 14), postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF)-related hemorrhage (n = 5), and duodenojejunal anastomosis leak-related sepsis (n = 1). On univariate analysis, older age [odds ratio (OR) 3.5, p = 0.034], American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score 3+ (OR 4.2, p = 0.005), cardiovascular disease (OR 3.3, p = 0.013), low serum albumin (OR 2.6, p = 0.042), sarcopenic obesity (OR 4.2, p = 0.009), POPF (OR 3.1, p = 0.027), and cardiorespiratory complications (OR 3.7, p = 0.011) were significantly associated with FTR. On multivariate analysis, sarcopenic obesity [OR 5.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6-20.7, p = 0.008], ASA score 3+ (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.2-14.3, p = 0.025), and pancreatic fistula (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.0-10.2, p = 0.045) were independently associated with FTR.

Conclusion: Sarcopenic obesity, low preoperative physical status, and occurrence of pancreatic fistula are associated with significantly higher risk of FTR from major complications after PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-017-6216-5DOI Listing
January 2018

An app for patient education and self-audit within an enhanced recovery program for bowel surgery: a pilot study assessing validity and usability.

Surg Endosc 2018 05 2;32(5):2263-2273. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University Health Centre, 1650 Cedar Ave, L9.309, Montreal, QC, H3G 1A4, Canada.

Introduction: While patient engagement and clinical audit are key components of successful enhanced recovery programs (ERPs), they require substantial resource allocation. The objective of this study was to assess the validity and usability of a novel mobile device application for education and self-reporting of adherence for patients undergoing bowel surgery within an established ERP.

Methods: Prospectively recruited patients undergoing bowel surgery within an ERP used a novel app specifically designed to provide daily recovery milestones and record adherence to 15 different ERP processes and six patient-reported outcomes (PROs). Validity was measured by the agreement index (Cohen's kappa coefficient for categorical, and interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for continuous variables) between patient-reported data through the app and data recorded by a clinical auditor. Acceptability and usability of the app were measured by the System Usability Scale (SUS).

Results: Forty-five patients participated in the study (mean age 61, 64% male). Overall, patients completed 159 of 179 (89%) of the available questionnaires through the app. Median time to complete a questionnaire was 2 min 49 s (i.q.r. 2'32″-4'36″). Substantial (kappa > 0.6) or almost perfect agreement (kappa > 0.8) and strong correlation (ICC > 0.7) between data collected through the app and by the clinical auditor was found for 14 ERP processes and four PROs. Patient-reported usability was high; mean SUS score was 87 (95% CI 83-91). Only 6 (13%) patients needed technical support to use the app. Forty (89%) patients found the app was helpful to achieve their daily goals, and 34 (76%) thought it increased their motivation to recover after surgery.

Conclusions: This novel application provides a tool to record patient adherence to care processes and PROs, with high agreement with traditional clinical audit, high usability, and patient satisfaction. Future studies should investigate the use of mobile device apps as strategies to increase adherence to perioperative interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-017-5920-3DOI Listing
May 2018
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