Long-term fasting for elective surgery has been proven unnecessary based on established guidelines. Instead, preoperative carbohydrate loading 2 hours before surgery and recommencing oral nutrition intake as soon as possible after surgery is recommended. This study was performed to analyze the compliance with and effect of abbreviated perioperative fasting management in patients undergoing surgical repair of fresh fractures based on current guidelines.
Patients with fresh fractures were consecutively enrolled from May 2019 to July 2019 at our hospital. A carbohydrate-enriched beverage was recommended up to 2 hours before surgery for all surgical patients except those with contraindications. Postoperatively, oral clear liquids were allowed once the patients had regained full consciousness, and solid food was allowed 1 to 2 hours later according to the patients’ willingness. The perioperative fasting time was recorded and the patients’ subjective comfort with respect to thirst and hunger was assessed using an interview-assisted questionnaire.
In total, 306 patients were enrolled in this study. The compliance rate of preoperative carbohydrate loading was 71.6%, and 93.5% of patients began ingestion of oral liquids within 2 hours after surgery. The median (interquartile range) preoperative fasting time for liquids and solids was 8 (5.2–12.9) and 19 (15.7–22) hours, respectively. The median postoperative fasting time for liquids and solids was 1 (0.5–1.9) and 2.8 (2.2–3.5) hours, respectively. A total of 70.3% and 74.2% of patients reported no thirst or hunger during the perioperative period. Logistic regression analysis showed that the preoperative fasting time for liquids was an independent risk factor for perioperative hunger. No adverse events such as aspiration pneumonia or gastroesophageal reflux were observed.
In this study of a real clinical practice setting, abbreviated perioperative fasting management was carried out with high compliance in patients with fresh fractures. The preoperative fasting time should be further shortened to further improve patients’ subjective comfort.