Evid Based Nurs 12:21 doi:10.1136/ebn.12.1.21
  • Treatment

Normal food at will and nil-by-mouth enteral feeding after major upper GI surgery did not differ for mortality or morbidity

K Lassen

Dr K Lassen, University Hospital Northern Norway, Tromso, Norway;


Does allowing normal food at will increase morbidity compared with “nil-by-mouth” enteral tube feeding (ETF) after major upper gastrointestinal (GI) surgery?



randomised controlled trial (RCT).





Follow-up period:

8 weeks.


5 referral centres in Norway.


453 patients (mean age 64 y, 59% men, based on 447 patients) who had major upper GI surgery. Exclusion criteria included severe extra-abdominal disease or trauma, life expectancy <3 months, or indications for parenteral nutrition.


normal food at will (n = 220) or ETF by needle-catheter jejunostomy (n = 227) after surgery. ETF consisted of nutrition, 20 ml/h on day 1, increasing by 20 ml/h/d (if tolerated) up …

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