BACKGROUND: Postoperative delirium (PD) is a common but serious problem after major surgery with a multifactorial pathogenesis including age, pain, opioid use, sleep disturbances and the surgical stress response. These factors have been minimised by the "fast-track methodology" previously demonstrated to enhance recovery and reduce morbidity. METHODS: Clinical symptoms of PD were routinely collected three times daily from preoperatively until discharge in a well-defined enhanced recovery program after colonic surgery in 247 consecutive patients. RESULTS: Total median length of hospital stay was 3 days. Seven patients (2.8%) developed clinical signs of PD most within the first 72 postoperative hours and only 1 patient with PD extending to 120 h postoperatively. Only 1 PD patient required treatment with serenase. PD patients were older (83 vs. 73 years) and had longer median stay (6 vs. 3 days). No difference in development of PD between open and laparoscopic operation could be demonstrated. Among the 7 patients with PD, 3 of these patients had later surgical complications. One patient had a subsequent strangulated small intestine, another an anastomotic leakage complicated by a bleeding gastric ulcer and death on day 12 and 1 with fever, abdominal pain and suspected but disproven anastomotic leakage (stay 21, 12 and 22 days, respectively). The remaining 4 PD patients stayed 4, 4, 5 and 6 days with an uncomplicated course. CONCLUSIONS: These data support that an enhanced postoperative recovery program may decrease the risk and duration of PD after colonic surgery.
Langenbecks Archives of Surgery, 2015, Vol 400, Issue 4, p. 513-6
Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Colectomy; Delirium; Female; Humans; Laparoscopy; Length of Stay; Male; Middle Aged; Postoperative Complications; Retrospective Studies; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't