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Review: routine NG decompression after abdominal surgery delays return of bowel function and increases pulmonary complications

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R Nelson

Prof R Nelson, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK;;


Is routine nasogastric (NG) tube decompression after major abdominal surgery better than selective or no decompression?


Data sources:

MEDLINE, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (all to 2006); and reference lists of published studies and reviews.

Study selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared routine NG tube decompression with selective or no tube use (control) in patients >18 years of age having abdominal surgery. In the routine decompression group, tubes were inserted before or during surgery and kept in place after surgery until spontaneous passage of flatus. In the control group, tubes …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.