Introduction: During the last decades, the contribution of good nutrition to better results in health care has been emphasised.
Aim: To investigate if a nutritional drink, given seven days before a planned operation to patients undergoing intestinal surgery, can influence the degree of malnutrition and insulin resistance and thereby consequences in the pre and postoperative phases, as compared to when patients did not receive the nutritional drink.
Method: En randomised controlled trial. The data collected using two instruments, a diary together with protocols and a blood test. All together there were 24 patients in the intervention group and 22 patients in the control group.
Results: Pre and postoperative nausea were significantly lower in the intervention group. Nutrition status, assessed as transtyretin values, declined from the point of inclusion to the day of operation in both groups but twice as much in the control group, despite that the latter were more postoperatively more insulin resistance. In the intervention group, clinically postoperative effects could be seen in terms of mobilisation, feelings of well-being, complications and earlier gas releases. There were no clinically or statistically significant differences in length of care or nutrition.
Conclusions: A nutritional drink seven days prior to planned surgery had a positive effect on the pre and postoperative condition of the patients. The study can help the health care personal to realise the importance of patients being well nourished prior to intestinal surgery
which will in turn be of benefit to the patients.