Postoperative insulin resistance, used as a marker of stress response, is clearly an adverse event. It may induce postoperative hyperglycemia, which according to some authors can increase the risk of postoperative complications. One of the elements of modern perioperative care is preoperative administration of oral carbohydrate loading (CHO-loading), which shortens preoperative fasting and reduces insulin resistance.
The aim of the study is to establish the influence of CHO-loading on the level of insulin resistance and cortisol in patients undergoing elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Material and methods. Patients were randomly allocated to one of 2 groups. The intervention group included 20 patients who received CHO-loading (400 ml Nutricia pre-op®) 2 hours prior surgery. The control group received a placebo (clear water). In every patient blood samples were taken 2 hours prior to surgery, immediately after surgery, and on the 1st postoperative day. Levels and changes in glucose, cortisol and insulin resistance were analyzed in both groups.
Results. Although there were differences in the levels of cortisol, insulin, and insulin resistance, no statistically significant differences were observed between groups in every measurement. The length of stay and postoperative complications were comparable in both groups.
Conclusions. We believe that CHO-loading is not clinically justified in case of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. No effect on the levels of glucose, insulin resistance and cortisol was observed. Even though such procedure is safe, in our opinion there is no clinical benefit from CHO-loading prior to laparoscopic cholecystectomy.