You are working in the ambulatory center and learn that your next patient, scheduled for inguinal hernia repair, was chewing gum while entering the building. The admitting nurse asks whether you will delay or cancel the surgery. According to a recent randomized crossover trial of healthy adult volunteers, what effect will gum chewing most likely have on gastric emptying?

Opinions differ regarding the proper response to a patient chewing gum during the preoperative fasting period. The ASA practice guidelines published in 2017 do not address this issue, whereas the European Society of Anaesthesiology’s fasting guidelines indicate that gum chewing during preoperative fasting should not delay surgery.

A recent randomized crossover study of 20 healthy adult volunteers used gastric antrum measurements obtained by ultrasound to calculate gastric fluid volumes before and up to 120 minutes after ingestion of 250 mL of water. Each volunteer attended two sessions, separated by at least...

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