Effect of early enteral nutrition on laparoscopic common bile duct exploration with enhanced recovery after surgery protocols

Qi Xiang, Haicheng Yuan, Wang Cai, Shuo Qie
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2019 April 9

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Protocols for enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) provide comprehensive and evidence-based guidelines to improve perioperative care. It remains elusive whether early enteral nutrition (EEN) will play an active role in the ERAS protocols. Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration (LCBDE) is a safe and efficient method to treat patients with bile duct stones. This study aims to assess the safety, tolerability, and outcomes of EEN after LCBDE.

SUBJECTS /METHODS: From January 2014 to April 2017, a total of 100 patients with postoperative LCBDE were chosen and randomly divided into control group and EEN group. Patients in the control group were treated with traditional management with regular diet when tolerated, while patients in the EEN group were fed with EEN 3 h after LCBDE. The patients' characteristics, time to first flatus, complications, hospitalization stay, and hospitalization expenses were assessed and compared between patients in these two groups.

RESULTS: EEN accelerated the recovery of gastrointestinal function, being indicated by reduced time to first flatus when compared with control group (P = 0.00). In accordance, the quick recovery of gastrointestinal function resulted in shorter hospitalization stay for the EEN group (P = 0.00); however, no significant difference was shown when comparing the hospitalization expenses. On another hand, early oral feeding increased the occurrence of abdominal distension and diarrhea complications (P = 0.00 and P = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: EEN effectively improves gastrointestinal function, but raises complications such as abdominal distension and diarrhea after LCBDE. It is recommended to implement the EEN as early as possible if the patients are reasonably expected to have high compliance.

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