Jejunostomy Enteral Feeding in Children: Outcome and Safety

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Background:The aim of this study was to report on the clinical outcome and safety of jejunostomy tube feeding used in our clinical setting for more than 14 years.Material and Methods:A retrospective study of all children who underwent a surgical catheter jejunostomy placement between July 1996 and March 2010 was conducted. Data were collected regarding the outcome and complications.Results:Thirty-three children (14 girls) were included. The median age at the time of primary surgery was 1.43 years (range, 0.15–17.7 years), and the median time of follow-up was 2.34 years (range, 0.27–12.6 years). Seventeen children were severely neurologically impaired (NI). Surgical insertion of a jejunostomy tube was performed due to 1 or more of the following indications: gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), failure to thrive, recurrent pneumonia, esophageal disease, or oral feeding difficulties. The effect of the indications showed a reduction in GERD and pneumonia. Feeding difficulties also decreased. Weaning was possible in 12 of 16 children without NI but in only 2 of 17 with NI. Major complications requiring surgical reoperation affected 8 children. No mortality was related to the jejunostomy feeding catheter.Conclusion:In selected cases, surgically placed jejunostomy tubes for feeding in children is an effective and safe method to overcome GERD, feeding difficulties, or recurrent pneumonia without major surgery.

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