Pulmonary resection surgery causes severe postoperative pain and usually requires opioid-based analgesia, particularly in the early postoperative period. However, the administration of large amounts of opioids is associated with various adverse events. We hypothesized that patients who underwent pulmonary resection under an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) program consumed fewer opioids than patients who received conventional treatment.
A total of 2147 patients underwent pulmonary resection surgery between August 2019 and December 2020. Two surgeons (25%) at our institution implemented the ERAS program for their patients. After screening, the patients were divided into the ERAS and conventional groups based on the treatment they received. The 2 groups were then compared after the stabilized inverse probability of treatment weighting. The primary end point was the total amount of opioid consumption from surgery to discharge. The secondary end points included daily average and highest pain intensity scores during exertion, opioid-related adverse events, and clinical outcomes, such as length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay, hospital stay, and postoperative complication grade defined by the Clavien-Dindo classification. Additionally, the number of patients discharged without opioids prescription was assessed.
Finally, 2120 patients were included in the analysis. The total amount of opioid consumption (median [interquartile range]) after surgery until discharge was lower in the ERAS group (n = 260) than that in the conventional group (n = 1860; morphine milligram equivalents, 44 [16–122] mg vs 208 [146–294] mg; median difference, −143 mg; 95% CI, −154 to −132; P < .001). The number of patients discharged without opioids prescription was higher in the ERAS group (156/260 [60%] vs 329/1860 [18%]; odds ratio, 7.0; 95% CI, 5.3–9.3; P < .001). On operation day, both average pain intensity score during exertion (3.0 ± 1.7 vs 3.5 ± 1.8; mean difference, −0.5; 95% CI, −0.8 to −0.3; P < .001) and the highest pain intensity score during exertion (5.5 ± 2.1 vs 6.4 ± 1.7; mean difference, −0.8; 95% CI, −1.0 to −0.5; P < .001) were lower in the ERAS group than in the conventional group. There were no significant differences in the length of ICU stay, hospital stay, or Clavien-Dindo classification grade.
Patients who underwent pulmonary resection under the ERAS program consumed fewer opioids than those who received conventional management while maintaining no significant differences in clinical outcomes.