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Enhanced recovery in Cardiac surgery


Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is well established in other surgical specialties, accelerating recovery and improving outcomes.

We have developed and implemented an ERAS programme in our institution for patients undergoing first time, isolated coronary artery bypass grafts with adequate post-operative social support.


We report our early experience with enhanced recovery following cardiac surgery.


Thirty-seven patients were enrolled in the enhanced recovery programme between January and December 2014. These were propensity matched using surgeon, gender, status of operation (urgent/elective) number of coronary artery bypass grafts, EuroSCORE and logisticEuroSCORE. All patients were included in the retrospective analysis. Comparison between the groups was made using a t-test.


Mean post-operative length of stay was significantly reduced in the ERAS group, 4.05 (SD 1.43) days compared to 5.4 (SD 1.17) days in the non-ERAS group (p = 0.003). There were no hospital or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) readmissions in either group. Mean ICU length of stay was 1 night in both groups.

There was no mortality in either group. The rate of re-operation for bleeding was slightly increased in the ERAS group, although this was not significant. There was no significant difference in the frequency of use of endoscopic vein harvest between the two groups.

The proportion of cases carried out by non-consultant grade surgeons was higher in the ERAS group, although this did not reach statistical significance.


Following the successful implementation of an ERAS programme we demonstrate that enhanced recovery in Cardiac surgery is safe, with no increase in readmission or complication rates and a significantly reduced hospital length of stay.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Hardman, G., Bose, A., Saunders, H. et al. Enhanced recovery in Cardiac surgery. J Cardiothorac Surg 10 (Suppl 1), A75 (2015).

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