ABSTRACT Introduction: Fast Track Surgery (FTS) programs have been adopted by many specialties with documented improved patient outcomes and reduced length of stay (LOS). Methods: We initiated a FTS program in January 2008 and present our experience up to and including November 2010 on patients whose LOS was 2 days. Results: During the study period 242 patients had a laparotomy performed. Overall 54(22.3%) patients were discharged on day 2. In the first year of initiating our FTS program 10% were discharged on day 2, 25% in year 2 and 31% in year 3. Twenty-two patients (41%) had malignant pathology and of these, 16 (73%) had local or regional spread and 6 (27%) had distant spread. Forty patients (74%) had vertical midline incisions (VMI) performed. Surgery was classified as complex in 40 cases (74%) and 6 (11%) patients underwent staging lymph node dissection. Average patient BMI was 26.1 with 44% of patients considered overweight or obese. There were no intraoperative complications recorded. When compared to 188 patients whose LOS was greater than 2 days, the early discharge cohort were more likely to have benign pathology, more likely to be younger, to have a transverse incision, to have received COX II inhibitors, to have a lower net haemoglobin (Hb) change and to tolerate early oral feeding. Conclusions: Increased clinical experience with FTS enables over 31% patients undergoing laparotomy to be safely discharged on day 2 without an increase in the read-mission rate or morbidity.
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