Published: 2020-04-23

Short-term preoperative parenteral nutrition benefits malnourished patients undergoing major gastrointestinal surgery

Rajesh Pendlimari, Nagesh N. Swamygowda, Shreedevi K. Nagadas, Kaushik Subramanian


Background: Pre-operative nutritional support is of paramount in malnourished patients undergoing major gastrointestinal (GI) surgery. We aimed to investigate the outcomes of short term pre-operative parenteral nutrition in nutritionally depleted patients undergoing major GI surgeries.

Methods: A retrospective study from tertiary care centre in South India, where nutritionally at risk patients undergoing major GI surgeries from 2016-2018 were identified and reviewed. Two groups –who received total or peripheral parenteral nutrition (TPN and PPN) and only enteral nutrition..

Results: Of 80 patients who were nutritionally depleted underwent major GI surgery, 38 patients received pre-operative parenteral nutrition (PN) support for mean 11 days. Patients who received pre-op PN had similar outcomes (overall complication rate n=26, 68.4% vs n=32, 76.2% p=0.43), when compared to patients who received pre-op enteral nutrition conditioning. Though a small group of patients received peripheral PN supplementation, there was no difference in overall complication rate, when compared with TPN group (n=14, 58.3% vs n=12, 85.7%, p=0.08).

Conclusions: Parenteral nutrition either total or supplemental is a useful adjunct pre-operatively for poorly nourished patients and should be utilized to build nutrition prior to major GI surgery. Pre-operative peripheral parenteral nutrition as supplement seems to be beneficial in patients undergoing GI surgery, pending large studies.


Enteral nutrition, Gastrointestinal surgery, Malnutrition, Parenteral nutrition

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