The Effect of an Enhanced Recovery Protocol in Bariatric Surgery Postoperative Pain
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Pain management in bariatric surgery patients is challenging because of multiple factors including chronic pain conditions, perception differences, and varied impacts of pain medications. As a result, postoperative pain tends to be poorly managed leading to increased opiate consumption in this population (Raebel et al., 2013). The enhanced recovery protocol is a newer multimodal postoperative management protocol with demonstrated improved pain control in abdominal surgery patients (Thompson et al., 2012). It has also been shown to be safe in bariatric surgery patients (Awad et al., 2012). In order to study its effects as a pain management protocol in bariatric surgery patients, a retrospective chart analysis was completed of 285 bariatric surgery patients at a Midwestern hospital. Statistical analysis comparing surgical patients from October 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 (Traditional Recovery) to patients from April 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016 (Enhanced Recovery) demonstrated a nonsignificant decrease in average pain scores. There was a statistically significant decrease in the length of stay in the enhanced recovery patients, compared to the traditional recovery group. While there was no statistically significant change in HCAHPS scores, there were noticeable increases in satisfaction for enhanced recovery patients.
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