Editorials

Enteral nutrition after surgery

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7035.864 (Published 06 April 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:864
  1. Wiley W Souba
  1. Professor of surgery and nutrition Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115USA

    Not routinely indicated in well nourished patients

    Perioperative nutritional support, whether by the enteral or parenteral route, remains controversial. Its efficacy in many circumstances is unproved and the indications for using it are unclear. Nutritional support can be expensive and is not without complications. Its use must therefore be shown to improve outcome in terms of improved survival, reduced complication rates, decreased hospital stay, or improved quality of life. While several studies have evaluated the use of perioperative parenteral nutrition, few have examined the perioperative role of enteral feeding.

    In this issue of the BMJ, Carr et al (p869) report a randomised controlled trial of immediate postoperative enteral feeding in patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery.1 Twenty eight patients who had undergone elective intestinal resection and …

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