In this study we have ultrasonographically assessed the prevalence of sludge in a group of 48 fasting patients after gastrointestinal tract surgery. Ultrasound examinations were carried out daily in each patient, beginning on the day before surgery. The period of fasting lasted from seven to 10 days. The presence of sludge was demonstrated within the seventh day in seven out of the 48 patients. In 38 cases fast lasted for a further three days. The total number of sludge-positive patients after 10 days was 12 out of 38. Ultrasound controls were performed after six and 12-24 month interval and showed the presence of gall stones with different ultrasonographic patterns in three sludge positive patients. We conclude that in the early postoperative period there is a high risk for sludge development and that in some cases sludge may subsequently evolve into gall stones.
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