n South African Medical Journal - Carbohydrate loading in the preoperative setting : forum - clinical practice

Volume 105, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Nutrition support is an evolving field, and modern clinical nutrition practice should actively incorporate strategies to enhance various clinical outcomes. In surgical patients, clinical benefits can be maximised by nutritional support protocols that minimise and manage the perioperative fasting period. This approach, which includes the perioperative provision of clear carbohydrate-containing fluids, has been shown to be safe, is evidence based, and is supported by many professional societies. Such a strategy has been shown to aid the anaesthetic process and maintain an optimal metabolic state, including improved insulin sensitivity and blunted muscle catabolic activity. Some important consequences of this improved metabolic control include shorter hospital stay and fewer postoperative complications. A proactive multidisciplinary team approach is essential to use this nutrition support strategy with success across a hospital's surgical service.

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