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‘Enhanced recovery after surgery’ protocols implement a series of peri-operative interventions intended to improve recovery after major operations, one aspect of which is fluid management.

The pre-operative goal is to prepare a hydrated, euvolaemic patient by avoiding routine mechanical bowel preparation and by encouraging patients to drink clear liquids up to two hours before induction of anaesthesia. The intra-operative goal is to achieve a ‘zero’ fluid balance at the end of uncomplicated surgery: goal-directed fluid therapy is recommended for poorly prepared or sick patients or those undergoing more complex surgery. The postoperative goal is eating and drinking without intravenous fluid infusions. Postoperative oliguria should be expected and accepted, as urine output does not indicate overall fluid status.


Gupta, R. and Gan, T.J. (2016) Peri-operative fluid management to enhance recovery. Anaesthesia. 71(S1), p.40–45.

DOI: 10.1111/anae.13309

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