Doctors now claim that a new surgical technique developed at a Paisley hospital could reduce the amount of time patients spend recovering from operations.
The doctors at the Royal Alexandra Hospital explained that almost every patient who undergoes surgery comes out of it suffering symptoms similar to dehydration. They said that they now use a procedure that uses an ultrasonic probe to make sure there is enough fluid in the body. Doctors claim the average patients recover 20% faster using the new technique.
Patients having operations become dehydrated, as they have to avoid food and water before undergoing surgery. This coupled with inhaling anesthetic gases and undergoing the trauma of the surgery itself, could leave their bodies lacking enough fluid to take oxygen to the vital organs. Hypovolaemia causes problems with the blood circulating and occurs when there is not enough fluid in the body to take oxygen to the vital organs.
In certain extreme cases this can even cause organ failure and death, but for most people it simply slows down their recovery. The new technique involves a probe being placed in the gullet, which tells doctors how much fluid needs to be topped up during surgery.
The procedure, known as haemodynamic optimisation, uses an ultrasonic probe to accurately measure fluid levels. The probe is inserted down the patient's throat and attached to a monitor. This then allows the fluid levels to be topped up as necessary to prevent dehydration.
The doctors at the hospital now hope that more hospitals will follow their lead and adopt the technique, which could save NHS boards £2 million a year.