Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) For Craniotomies in the Treatment of Brain Tumors: A Systematic Review

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Introduction: Postoperative complications after craniotomy for brain tumors include pain, nausea/vomiting, and infection. A standardized Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol is not widely accepted for this common neurosurgical procedure. Few studies have explored its application.

Methods: A literature search of PubMed, Cochrane, and Google Scholar databases was performed between January 1992 and March 2023. Original studies that implemented an ERAS protocol for patients that underwent craniotomy for brain tumors were included. The following variables were evaluated: hospital length of stay (LOS), postoperative pain, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) prophylaxis, non-opioid analgesia, and quality of life (QOL).

Results: Twelve studies with a total of 1309 patients met inclusion criteria, including ten randomized controlled trials, one non-randomized controlled trial, and one quality control study. Most frequently assessed metrics included hospital LOS, PONV prophylaxis, and non-opioid analgesia. A significant reduction in postoperative LOS was observed in 7 studies with ERAS or ERAS components. ERAS was significantly associated with pain reduction on the visual analog scale and verbal numerical rating scale (n=8). Non-opioid analgesia in ERAS improved postoperative pain control (n=4) and decreased the duration of pain (n=1). Three of six studies found no difference in PONV in ERAS vs. control. No studies reported an increase in postoperative complications using ERAS vs. control. One study showed greater patient satisfaction at 30-day follow-up with improved QOL.

Conclusion: Implementing ERAS protocol may enhance outcomes and quality of life in patients with moderate evidence for improved recovery in those undergoing craniotomy for brain tumors.



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Brain tumor, Craniotomy, ERAS, Enhanced Recovery After Surgery