Fatigue and cardiorespiratory function following abdominal surgery
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2005
Copyright © 1982 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd.
British Journal of Surgery
Volume 69, Issue 7, pages 417–419, July 1982
How to Cite
Christensen, T., Bendix, T. and Kehlet, H. (1982), Fatigue and cardiorespiratory function following abdominal surgery. Br J Surg, 69: 417–419. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800690721
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2005
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 DEC 1981
Subjective feelings of fatigue were assessed before operation and 10, 20 and 30 days after uncomplicated elective abdominal surgery in 16 otherwise healthy patients, using a constructed fatigue scale model. In addition, all patients had an orthostatic stress test performed at the same times. Six of the patients also underwent a bicycle ergometer test measuring heart rate and oxygen consumption. Subjective feelings of fatigue were increased (P<0.01) at all three postoperative observations, and only 5 of 16 patients returned to their preoperative level. The increased subjective feeling of fatigue correlated positively (Rs = 0.53, P<0.001) with the increased pulse rate seen during orthostatic stress after operation. Heart rate was about 5 per cent higher (n.s.) after operation when bicycling at the same work loads, while oxygen consumption decreased by about 2 per cent (P<0.01) at all three postoperative bicycle tests. It is concluded that even elective uncomplicated abdominal surgery is followed by a pronounced feeling of fatigue, which may persist 1 month after surgery in about one-third of patients. The fatigue scale model seems applicable for future studies on the pathogenesis and treatment of the postoperative fatigue syndrome.