Auto-diuresis predicts return of bowel function


Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center


Purpose: Feeding a ventral hernia repair (VHR) patient before the return of bowel function (ROBF) can lead to distention and emesis. Many patients spontaneously diurese after surgery. We hypothesized that this auto-diuresis would signal ROBF.

Materials and methods: A total of 395 patients who underwent open, laparoscopic, or mixed VHR were evaluated for correlation between fluid status and ROBF or discharge. ROBF within 24 hours and discharge within 24 hours or 48 hours were used as outcome measures.

Results: Patients remained an average 3.59 days after surgery in the hospital and the average ROBF was on day 2.99. The first shift of ≥700 mL of urine predicted ROBF (P=0.03) and discharge (P=0.04) within 24 hours. The first shift output of ≥500 mL predicted discharge within 48 hours (P=0.02).

Conclusion: Auto-diuresis after surgery is correlated to ROBF and discharge. Accurate fluid measurement can predict bowel function and allow early diet and discharge.

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