Background The Institute of Medicine has included the comparison of minimally invasive surgical techniques in its research agenda. This study seeks to evaluate a model for the comparison of minimally invasive procedures using patient-reported outcomes. Study Design A double-blinded randomized controlled trial (NCT01489436) was conducted. Baseline data were obtained, standardized anesthesia was induced, and patients were randomized to single-port (SP) or 4-port (FP) laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Perioperative care was standardized. The outcomes were pain (Visual Analog Scale) on postoperative day 1 (primary) and quality of life (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures Information System and Linear Analog Self-Assessment), serum cytokines, and heart rate variability (secondary). Analysis was intention to treat. Using identical occlusive dressings, patients and the outcomes assessor remained blinded until postoperative day 2. Results Fifty-five patients were randomized to each arm. There was no difference in demographics. Visual Analog Scale pain score on postoperative day 1 was significantly different from baseline in each group (SP: 1.6 ± 1.9 to 4.2 ± 2.4 vs FP: 1.8 ± 2.3 to 4.2 ± 2.2), but not different from each other (p = 0.83). Patients in the FP arm reported significantly less fatigue on postoperative day 7 than patients in the SP group (3.1 ± 2.1 vs 4.2 ± 2.2; p = 0.009). Fewer patients in the FP group required postoperative oral narcotics before discharge (40% vs 60%; p = 0.056). Cytokines levels and heart rate variability were similar between arms. In patients followed for >1 year, no difference in umbilical hernia rates was noted. Conclusions Early postoperative quality of life data captured differences in fatigue, indicating improved recovery after FP within a controlled trial. Physiologic measures were similar, suggesting that the differences between SP and FP are minimal.
ASJC Scopus subject areas