Laparotomies are one of the most commonly performed surgeries on an emergency basis. Potassium is one of the major extra cellular ion is of primary importance is reflecting changes of water and electrolytes status in the body. Hence; the present study was conducted for assessing the alterations in serum potassium levels during post op exploratory laparotomy.
Materials & methods: A total of 40 subjects who underwent explorative laparotomy were enrolled in the present study. A Performa was made and all the relevant data of all the subjects was recorded. Physical and general examination of all the subjects was carried out. Collection of 2 cc of blood volume was done at preoperative time, one the day of surgery and on postoperative days of surgery. All the samples were sent to laboratory where autoanalyzer was used for assessment of serum potassium levels. All the results were recorded in Microsoft excel sheet and were analysed by SPSS software.
Results: Mean potassium levels One day before surgery, Baseline (before starting of surgery), One day after surgery, Three days after surgery and Seven days after surgery were found to be 4.29 respectively, 4.79 respectively, 5.12 respectively, 4.32 respectively and 4.25 mEq/L respectively. A significant reduction in the potassium levels during the initial postoperative phase was seen followed by a significant rise; thereby returning to normal value 1 week postoperatively.
Conclusion: A transient significant rise in the potassium levels occur after exploratory laparotomy, followed by restoration to normal values by the end of first postoperative week. The study also emphasized that early recognition and identification of the early warnings of hypokalemia is necessary to avoid risk of development of associated adverse events.