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Preoperative fasting. BJS 2003; 90: 400-406.

Published: 29th January 2003

Authors: O. Ljungqvist, E. Søreide


The recommendations are safe and improve well‐being before operation, mainly by reducing thirst. A carbohydrate‐rich beverage given before anaesthesia and surgery alters metabolism from the overnight fasted to the fed state. This reduces the catabolic response (insulin resistance) after operation, which may have implications for postoperative recovery.


Most patients having elective operations can be allowed a free intake of clear fluids up to 2 h before anaesthesia. Preoperative carbohydrates reduce postoperative insulin resistance. Copyright © 2003 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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