Epidural anaesthesia is considered as a basic element of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS). In regard of the expenditure and the possible complications, the authors established a modified protocol without epidural analgesia.
In this prospective single-centre study, 64 consecutive patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery were treated according to the concept of ERAS, replacing epidural analgesia with infiltration of the incision lines.
Adequate pain control was possible in 52 (81 %) patients; 55 (86 %) did not need any antiemetic drugs, 41 (64 %) tolerated solid food on the first postoperative day and 51 (80 %) had first bowel movement until day 2. Discharge was possible on day 4.3, overall complication rate was 19 % and 30-day mortality was 3 %.
ERAS in elective colon surgery is feasible using local infiltration of the incision line resulting in comparable outcome in regard of pain control, intestinal paralysis and complications.