Perioperative fluid restriction in a variety of operations has shown improvement of: complications, recovery of gastrointestinal function and length of stay (LOS). We investigated effects of crystalloid fluid restriction in pancreatic surgery. Our hypothesis: enhanced recovery of gastrointestinal function.In this double-blinded randomized trial, patients scheduled to undergo pancreatoduodenectomy (PD) were randomized: standard (S:10ml/kg/hr) or restricted (R:5ml/kg/hr) fluid protocols.gastric emptying scintigraphically assessed on postoperative day 7.In 66 randomized patients, complications and 6-year survival were analyzed. 54 patients were analyzed in intention to treat: 24 S-group and 30 R-group. 32 patients actually underwent a PD and 16 patients had a palliative gastrojejunostomy bypass operation in the full protocol analysis. The median gastric emptying time (T½) was 104 minutes (S-group, 95% confidence interval: 74-369) versus 159 minutes (R-group, 95% confidence interval: 61-204) (P = 0.893, NS). Delayed gastric emptying occurred in 10 patients in the S-group and in 13 patients in the R-group (45% and 50%, P = 0.779, NS). The primary outcome parameter, gastric emptying time, did not show a statistically significant difference between groups.A fluid regimen of 10ml/kg/hr or 5ml/kg/hr during pancreatic surgery did not lead to statistically significant differences in gastric emptying. A larger study would be needed to draw definite conclusions about fluid restriction in pancreatic surgery.ISRCTN62621488
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