Nutrient intake and contribution of home enteral nutrition to meeting nutritional requirements after oesophagectomy and total gastrectomy

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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:This study evaluated nutrition after oesophago-gastric resection and the influence of home jejunostomy feeding in the six months after surgery.SUBJECTS/METHODS:Data on nutritional intake and physiologic measures were collected as part of a randomised trial with measurements taken before and up to six months after surgery.RESULTS:A total of 41 participants (32 oesophagectomy, 9 total gastrectomy) received home jejunostomy feeding (n = 18) or usual care without feeding (n = 23). At hospital discharge, oral intakes were adequate for energy and protein in 9% and 6%, respectively. By three and six months, these values had increased to 61% and 55%, 94% and 77% respectively. Six participants (26%) who received usual care required rescue feeding. Six weeks after hospital discharge, energy intakes were met in those who received jejunal feeding because of the contribution of enteral nutrition. Jejunal feeding did not affect oral intake, being similar in both groups (fed: 77% estimated need, usual care: 79%). At three months, inadequate micronutrient intakes were seen in over one third. Compared to baseline values, six weeks after surgery, weight loss exceeding 5% was seen in 5/18 (28%) who received feeding, 14/17 (82%) who received usual care and 5/6 (83%) of those who required rescue feeding, P = 0.002. Weight loss averaged 4.1% (fed), 10.4% (usual care) and 9.2% (rescue fed), P = 0.004. These trends persisted out to six months.CONCLUSIONS:Supplementary jejunostomy feeding made an important contribution to meeting nutrition after oesophago-gastric resection. Importantly, oral nutritional intake was not compromised dispelling the assertion that jejunal feeding deincentivises patients from eating.

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