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Br J Surg. 2006 Dec;93(12):1469-74.

Randomized clinical trial of the effect of postoperative intravenous fluid restriction on recovery after elective colorectal surgery.

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University Department of Surgery, Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow, UK.



Use of intravenous fluids is an important part of perioperative management. The aim of this study was to compare outcome following administration of restricted or standard postoperative intravenous fluids and sodium in patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery.


Eighty patients were randomized to restricted fluids (less than 2 litres water and 77 mmol sodium for 24 h after surgery) or a standard postoperative fluid regimen (3 litres water and 154 mmol sodium per day for as long as necessary). The primary endpoint was hospital stay.


The median (i.q.r.) total intravenous fluid intake in the restricted group was 4.50 (4.00-5.62) litres compared with 8.75 (8.00-9.80) litres in the standard group (P < 0.001). Intravenous sodium intake was also significantly less in the restricted group (229 (131-332) versus 560 (477-667) mmol; P < 0.001). There was no difference in median time to first flatus (2.9 versus 2.9 days; hazard ratio (HR) 0.85 (95 per cent confidence interval (c.i.) 0.54 to 1.32); P = 0.466) or first bowel motion (4.7 versus 4.9 days; HR 1.06 (95 per cent c.i. 0.68 to 1.65); P = 0.802) between the restricted and standard groups, or in median hospital stay (7.2 versus 7.2 days; HR 1.03 (95 per cent c.i. 0.66 to 1.61); P = 0.902).


Restriction of postoperative intravenous fluid and sodium does not reduce hospital stay following elective colorectal surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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