Optimizing the Postoperative Management of Children Undergoing Resection of High-Risk Abdominal Neuroblastoma.

Surgical resection is a mainstay of treatment in high-risk neuroblastoma (HR-NB), but there exists wide variability in perioperative management practices. The aim of this study was to evaluate two standardized adult perioperative enhanced recovery practices (ERPs) in pediatric patients undergoing open resection of abdominal HR-NB.

All patients with abdominal HR-NB surgically resected at a free-standing children's hospital between 12/2010 and 7/2020 were retrospectively reviewed. Perioperative ERPs of interest included avoidance of routine nasogastric tube (NGT) use and the use of neuraxial anesthesia. Primary outcomes included time to enteral intake, urinary catheter use, opioid utilization, and length of stay (LOS).

Overall, 37 children, median age 33 months (IQR: 20-48 months), were identified. Avoidance of an NGT allowed for earlier feeding after surgery (P = .03). Neuraxial anesthesia use more frequently required an indwelling urinary catheter (P < .01) for a longer duration (P = .02), with no difference in total opioid utilization (P = .77) compared to patients without neuraxial anesthesia. Postoperative LOS was unaffected by avoidance of routine NGT use (P = .68) or use of neuraxial anesthesia (P = .89).

Children undergoing open resection of abdominal HR-NB initiated diet sooner when an NGT was not left postoperatively, and the need for a urinary catheter was significantly higher in patients who received neuraxial anesthesia. However, these two ERP components did not decrease postoperative LOS. To optimize the postoperative management of NB patients, postoperative NGTs should be avoided, while the benefit of neuraxial anesthesia is less clear as it necessitates the placement of a urinary catheter without decreasing opioid utilization.

The American surgeon. 2024 Jan 20 [Epub ahead of print]

William G Lee, Danny Lascano, Samiza B Palmer, Stephanie Y Chen, Shale J Mack, Rasika Sudharshan, Jane S Han, Eugene S Kim

Division of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.