Enhanced recovery after thoracic surgery reduces discharge on highly dependent narcotics

Min P. Kim, Edward Y. Chan, Leonora M. Meisenbach, Razvan Dumitru, Jessica K. Brown, Faisal N. Masud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: There is large prescription drug epidemic in United States. We want to determine if ERATS (enhanced recovery after thoracic surgery) program can reduce discharge on highly dependent narcotics. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data on patients who underwent lung resection and foregut procedures on thoracic surgery service over an 8-month time period. Patients underwent preoperative conditioning instructions, multimodal non-narcotic pharmaceutical usage, total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) and minimizing highly addictive narcotics during the post-operative period. We gathered information on demographics, indication and type of surgery, morbidity, mortality and length of stay. We also recorded the type of pain medication patients were given as a prescription based on the Drug Enforcement Agency's classification schedule. Results: Fifty-two patients underwent lung resection and 54 patients underwent foregut surgery. There were no mortalities in either group. Ten percent of patients after lung surgery and 6% after foregut surgery had a greater than grade II complication. The median length of stay after lung resection was 2 days and foregut surgery was 1 day. Only 10% of patients went home after lung resection and 2% after foregut surgery with a prescription for schedule II narcotics. We found that patients who were on schedule II narcotics prior to surgery all went home with schedule II narcotics. Conclusions: We found that ERATS program for thoracic surgical cases can reduce the number of patients going home with highly dependent narcotics. This strategy will decrease the availability of highly addictive prescription drugs in the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)984-990
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Enhanced recovery
  • Lung resection
  • Narcotics
  • Thoracic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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