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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 102-106

Early enteral nutrition after surgical treatment of gut perforations: A prospective randomised study

Department of General Surgery, S. M. S Hospital, Jaipur, India

Correspondence Address:
Amber Malhotra
Department of General Surgery, S. M. S Hospital, Jaipur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15235203

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BACKGROUND: Withholding enteral feeds after an elective gastrointestinal surgery is based on the hypothesis that this period of "nil by mouth" provides rest to the gut and promotes healing. AIMS: To assess whether early postoperative naso-gastric tube feeding in the form of a balanced diet formula is safe in and beneficial to patients who have undergone surgical intervention for perforation of the gut. SETTING: A surgical unit of a Medical College Hospital. DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: Prospective randomised open control study. METHODS AND MATERIAL: Patients undergoing surgical intervention for peritonitis following perforation of the gut were randomised to the study group receiving feedings of a balanced diet formula through a naso-gastric tube from the second postoperative day, or the control group in which patients were managed with the conventional regimen of intravenous fluid administration. The groups were compared for incidence and duration of complications, biochemical measurements and other characteristics like weight loss/gain. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Chi square test and 'T' test. RESULTS: One hundred patients were enrolled in each group. 88% subjects in the study group achieved positive nitrogen balance on the eighth postoperative day as compared to none in the conventionally managed group. The relative risks (95% confidence interval) of morbidity from wound infection, wound dehiscence, pneumonia, leakage of anastomoses and septicaemia were 0.66 (0.407-1.091), 0.44 (0.141-1.396), 0.70 (0.431-1.135), 0.54 (0.224-1.293) and 0.66 (0.374-1.503) respectively. Average loss of weight between the first and tenth day was 3.10 kg in the study group as compared to 5.10 kg in the conventionally managed group ('P' value < 0.001, 95% Confidence Interval - 2.46 - 1.54). CONCLUSION: Early enteral nutrition is safe and is associated with beneficial effects such as lower weight loss, early achievement of positive nitrogen balance as compared to the conventional regimen of feeding in operated cases of gut perforation.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow