We sought to evaluate two common fluids placed in the pelvis after pelvic surgery for their ability to remain in the pelvis for a time thought adequate for prevention of adhesions. Thirteen patients undergoing operative laparoscopy were randomized to receive 250 ml 32% dextran 70 (Hyskon), 250 ml lactated Ringer's solution, or no fluid (control) at the end of surgery. Serial transvaginal ultrasonograms were obtained at 1 hr, 3 hr, 6 hr, 24 hr, 96 hr (4 days), and 168 hr (7 days) after surgery. Patients were asked about side effects of fluid instillation. The volume of lactated Ringer's solution declined rapidly after instillation, with no significant difference from control at 24 hr (12 ml versus 7 ml). The volume of Hyskon did not decline rapidly by 24 hr and remained higher than the volume in controls or those receiving lactated Ringer's solution (188 ml, P = 0.003). Although the volume of Hyskon remained higher than that of lactated Ringer's solution or fluid volume in control patients by days 4 and 7, this difference did not reach statistical significance (45 ml versus 7 ml and 14 ml respectively, P = 0.39, on day 4). Patients in all groups noted abdominal pain. One patient who received Hyskon developed severe vulvar edema and another developed dyspnea. We conclude that the volume of Hyskon in the peritoneal cavity after laparoscopy does not decline as rapidly as does that of lactated Ringer's solution; however, significant side effects may limit its usefulness. Transvaginal ultrasonography is useful in monitoring fluids placed in the pelvis for prevention of adhesions.
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