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Pre-operative oral carbohydrate loading in colorectal surgery: a randomized controlled trial

Lookup NU author(s): Paul Hainsworth, Alan Horgan


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Objective Surgery induces a catabolic response with stress hormone release and insulin resistance. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of pre-operative carbohydrate administration on grip strength, gastrointestinal function and hospital stay following elective colorectal surgery. Methods Thirty-six patients undergoing elective colonic resection were randomized into one of three groups. Group 1 were fasted; Group 2 were given pre-operative oral water, Group 3 received equivalent volumes of a Maltodextrin drink. Time to first flatus, first bowel movement and hospital stay were recorded. Muscle strength was measured pre-operatively, and on alternate days thereafter until discharge using a grip strength dynamometer. Results Patients in the carbohydrate group had a median postoperative hospital stay of 7.5 days compared with 13 days in the water group (P > 0.01) and 10 days in the fasted group (P = 0.06). The median time postsurgery to first flatus was 3 days for both the fasted and water groups compared with 1.5 days in the carbohydrate group (P = 0.13). First bowel movement occurred on day 3 in the carbohydrate group, day 4 in the fasting group and day 5 in the water group. The fasted group showed a significant reduction in postoperative grip strength (P < 0.05) with a median drop of 10% at discharge. Neither the water nor the carbohydrate groups showed significant reductions in muscle strength. Conclusion We found that pre-operative administration of oral carbohydrate leads to a significantly reduced postoperative hospital stay, and a trend towards earlier return of gut function when compared with fasting or supplementary water.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Noblett SE, Watson DS, Huong H, Davison B, Hainsworth PJ, Horgan AF

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Colorectal Disease

Year: 2006

Volume: 8

Issue: 7

Pages: 563-569

ISSN (print): 1462-8910

ISSN (electronic): 1463-1318

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2006.00965.x


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