Oral fluids prior to day surgery. The effect of shortening the pre-operative fluid fast on postoperative morbidity

Anaesthesia. 1991 Dec;46(12):1066-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1991.tb09926.x.


One hundred day surgical patients undergoing first trimester termination of pregnancy were randomly allocated to receive either 150 ml of clear fluid 1.5-2 hours before anaesthesia or to remain fasted from midnight the night before. Patients were anaesthetised using a total intravenous technique which consisted of propofol and alfentanil. No adverse intra-operative events were noted in either group. There were no significant differences in immediate recovery time, or pain, nausea and headache scores at 30 or 120 minutes following recovery. The fasted group had less pain (p less than 0.05) at 60 minutes after recovery than the fluid group, although the mean pain scores in both groups were low. Eighty two per cent of the patients returned questionnaires about pain, nausea and headache scores on arriving home, and at 12 and 24 hours after surgery. There were no significant differences between the two groups. In conclusion, pain, nausea and headache scores are low following total intravenous anaesthesia with propofol and alfentanil for termination of pregnancy and these were unaffected by the administration of 150 ml of clear fluid given approximately 1.5 hours pre-operatively.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures*
  • Anesthesia, Intravenous
  • Anesthesia, Obstetrical
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drinking
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy*
  • Headache / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Nausea / prevention & control
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Prospective Studies