Background Immediate postoperative admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) is still a standard practice at many institutions. Our aim was to examine whether omission of an immediate postoperative ICU admission would be safe and result in improved outcomes and cost after robotic pancreaticoduodenectomy (RPD). Methods In December 2014, a non-ICU admission policy was implemented for patients undergoing RPD. Before this date, all RPDs were routinely admitted to the ICU on post operative day = 0. Using a prospective database, outcomes of the patients in the no-ICU cohort were compared with those of the patients routinely admitted to the ICU before implementation of this policy. Results The ICU (n = 49) and no-ICU cohorts (n = 47) were comparable in age, gender, body mass index, Charlson comorbidity index and American Society of Anesthesiologists scores, receipt of neoadjuvant therapy, operative time, estimated blood loss, tumor size, and pathologic diagnosis (all P values = NS). Clavien complications, pancreatic leak, reoperation, readmission, and mortality were similar between both the groups (all P values = NS). Hospital length of stay (LOS) was shorter for the no-ICU group (median 6.8 versus 7.7 d, P = 0.01). This reduced LOS and omission of routine postoperative ICU admission translated into a cost reduction from $23,933 (interquartile range $19,833-$28,991) in the ICU group to $19,516 (interquartile range $17,046-$23,893) in the no-ICU group, P = 0.004. The reduction in LOS and cost remained significant after adjusting for all related demographics and perioperative characteristics. Conclusions A standard policy of omitting a postoperative ICU admission on post operative day 0 after RPD is safe and can result in reduced LOS and overall savings in total hospital cost.
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