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Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition in the Perioperative Period: State of the Art

Saint Mary's Hospital, 56 Franklin Street, Waterbury, CT 06706, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2013, 5(2), 608-623;
Received: 19 December 2012 / Revised: 17 January 2013 / Accepted: 4 February 2013 / Published: 21 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enteral Nutrition)
PDF [567 KB, uploaded 21 February 2013]


Nutritional support of surgical and critically ill patients has undergone significant advances since 1936 when Studley demonstrated a direct relationship between pre-operative weight loss and operative mortality. The advent of total parenteral nutrition followed by the extraordinary progress in parenteral and enteral feedings, in addition to the increased knowledge of cellular biology and biochemistry, have allowed clinicians to treat malnutrition and improve surgical patient’s outcomes. We reviewed the literature for the current status of perioperative nutrition comparing parenteral nutrition with enteral nutrition. In a surgical patient with established malnutrition, nutritional support should begin at least 7–10 days prior to surgery. Those patients in whom eating is not anticipated beyond the first five days following surgery should receive the benefits of early enteral or parenteral feeding depending on whether the gut can be used. Compared to parenteral nutrition, enteral nutrition is associated with fewer complications, a decrease in the length of hospital stay, and a favorable cost-benefit analysis. In addition, many patients may benefit from newer enteral formulations such as Immunonutrition as well as disease-specific formulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: total parenteral nutrition; enteral nutrition; perioperative; immunonutrition total parenteral nutrition; enteral nutrition; perioperative; immunonutrition

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Abunnaja, S.; Cuviello, A.; Sanchez, J.A. Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition in the Perioperative Period: State of the Art. Nutrients 2013, 5, 608-623.

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