Open Access Open Badges Protocol

Enhanced recovery after vascular surgery: protocol for a systematic review

Lesley Gotlib Conn1*, Ori D Rotstein1, Elisa Greco1, Andrea C Tricco2, Laure Perrier23, Charlene Soobiah2 and Tony Moloney1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, St. Michael’s Hospital, 30 Bond Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 1W8, Canada

2 Knowledge Translation Program, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital, 30 Bond Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 1W8, Canada

3 Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

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Systematic Reviews 2012, 1:52  doi:10.1186/2046-4053-1-52

Published: 2 November 2012



The enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) programme is a multimodal evidence-based approach to surgical care which begins in the preoperative setting and extends through to patient discharge in the postoperative period. The primary components of ERAS include the introduction of preoperative patient education; reduction in perioperative use of nasogastric tubes and drains; the use of multimodal analgesia; goal-directed fluid management; early removal of Foley catheter; early mobilization, and early oral nutrition. The ERAS approach has gradually evolved to become the standard of care in colorectal surgery and is presently being used in other specialty areas such as vascular surgery. Currently there is little evidence available for the implementation of ERAS in this field. We plan to conduct a systematic review of this literature with a view to incorporating ERAS principles into the management of major elective vascular surgery procedures.


We will search EMBASE (OVID, 1947 to June 2012), Medline (OVID, 1948 to June 2012), and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Wiley, Issue 1, 2012). Searches will be performed with no year or language restrictions. For inclusion, studies must look at adult patients over 18 years. Major elective vascular surgery includes carotid, bypass, aneurysm and amputation procedures. Studies must have evaluated usual care against an ERAS intervention in the preoperative, perioperative or postoperative period of care. Primary outcome measures are length of stay, decreased complication rate, and patient satisfaction or expectations. Only randomized controlled trials will be included.


Most ERAS approaches have been considered in the context of colorectal surgery. Given the increasing use of multiple yet different aspects of this pathway in vascular surgery, it is timely to systematically review the evidence for their independent or combined outcomes, with a view to implementing them in this clinical setting. Results from this review will have important implications for vascular surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, and other health care professionals when making evidenced-based decisions about the use of ERAS in daily practice.

Vascular surgery; Enhanced recovery after surgery; ERAS; Fast-track; Systematic review