Impact of Enhanced Recovery Program on Colorectal Cancer Surgery


Surgical outcomes of colorectal cancer treatment depend not only on good surgery and tumor biology but alsoon an optimal perioperative care. The enhanced recovery program (ERP) – a multidisciplinary and multimodalapproach, or so called ‘fast-track surgery’ – has been designed to minimize perioperative and intraoperativestress responses, and to support the recovery of organ function aiming to help patients getting better sooner aftersurgery. Compared with conventional postoperative care, the enhanced recovery program results in quickerpatient recovery, shorter length of hospital stay, faster recovery of gastrointestinal function, and a lower incidenceof postoperative complications. Although not firmly established as yet, the enhanced recovery program aftersurgery could be of oncological benefit in colorectal cancer patients because it can enhance recovery, maintainintegrity of the postoperative immune system, increase feasibility of postoperative chemotherapy, and shorten thetime interval from surgery to chemotherapy. This commentary summarizes short-term outcomes and potentiallong-term benefits of enhanced recovery programs in the treatment of colorectal cancer.