Background Malnutrition is associated with high rates of postoperative morbidity and mortality.
Purpose This pilot study evaluated the effectiveness of a preoperative nutritional support programme for patients who were about to undergo major elective lower gastrointestinal surgery.
Materials and methods A high-calorie/high-protein enteral formula was administered perioperatively to the group of patients at nutritional risk/with malnutrition (NR/MN), who were detected with the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) test, a validated nutrition screening and assessment tool that can identify patients who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.
In order to assess the effectiveness of the preoperative nutritional intervention, we collected mortality, length of stay, re-entry, gastrointestinal complications after surgery, clinical complications (infections, sepsis, hyperglycaemia, renal failure, intestinal failure, fistula).
The results were compared to a comparable (type of surgery, demographic and anthropometric data) retrospective control group.
Results 63 patients were studied.
Statistically significant differences were found between the prospective NR/MN supplemented group and the retrospective NR/MN non-supplemented group in:
Wound infection (0% vs. 24.6%; p = 0.001), hyperglycaemia (32.6% vs. 59.6%; p = 0.001), death in hospital (4.7% vs. 14.0%; p = 0.008), length of hospital stay (9.86 days vs. 13.54; p = 0.006), time in ICU (0.55 days vs. 3.21; p = 0.037) and administration of TPN (1.67 days vs. 6.78; p = 0.000).
Conclusions Postoperative progress was found to be better in the group of NR/MN patients supplemented preoperatively with an enteral nutrition formula.
No conflict of interest.
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