The effect of pre-operative oral fluids on morbidity following anaesthesia for minor surgery

Anaesthesia. 1995 Jan;50(1):79-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1995.tb04520.x.


Postoperative morbidity and serum osmolality were studied in 46 patients who were encouraged to drink water until 3 h pre-operatively and 49 receiving the normal fasting regimen prior to minor surgery. There was significantly less thirst in the postoperative period in those patients allowed to drink and subjectively better recovery than after previous anaesthesia. There was no morbidity from ingestion of up to 11 of water 2.5 h pre-operatively. Although there was only a moderate improvement in postoperative recovery we feel that allowing patients to drink water pre-operatively improves patient comfort, especially since patients may have to fast for much longer than guidelines recommend, simply because of the traditional organisation of operating lists.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, General / adverse effects*
  • Drinking*
  • Fasting*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minor Surgical Procedures*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Thirst