We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Early Postoperative Feeding After Elective Colorectal Surgery

P. Allen Hartsell, MD; Richard C. Frazee, MD; J. Blake Harrison, MD; Randall W. Smith, MD
Arch Surg. 1997;132(5):518-521. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430290064011.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Background:  Several investigators have demonstrated that routine nasogastric decompression after abdominal surgery is unnecessary and can be safely eliminated, and 1 recent study demonstrated the safety of early oral feedings.

Objective:  To test the hypothesis that successful early feeding would lead to a shorter duration of hospitalization and, therefore, would be more cost-effective.

Patients:  Fifty-eight patients with elective colorectal surgery.

Methods:  Patients were prospectively randomized to 1 of 2 postoperative treatment arms: early feeding (EF group, n=29) and traditional feeding (TF group, n=29). All patients in the EF group began a liquid diet on the first postoperative day and were advanced to a regular diet when they consumed 1000 mL in 24 hours. All patients in the TF group began a liquid diet after resolution of the postoperative ileus and were advanced to a regular diet after consuming 1000 mL in 24 hours. Patients were dismissed after tolerating two thirds of the regular diet. Both groups had intraoperative orogastric tubes that were removed at the end of surgery. Nasogastric tubes were inserted for persistent postoperative vomiting.

Results:  No significant differences were noted in age, types of procedures, or in prior abdominal surgery in either group. No significant differences were seen in rates of nausea (55% in EF vs 50% in TF group) or vomiting (48% in EF vs 33% in TF group). One patient in the EF group had aspiration pneumonia, and anastomotic leak resulted in sepsis and eventual death of 1 patient in the TF group. No significant difference was observed in length of hospital stay between the 2 groups (mean±SD, 7.2±3.3 days in EF vs 8.1±2.3 days in TF group).

Conclusions:  Early oral feeding after elective colorectal surgery is safe. Most of the patients tolerated EF; however, there was no significant difference in duration of hospitalization in these patients.Arch Surg. 1997;132:518-521


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.