Nutrition in surgical patients: How soon is too soon?

Muhammad Khan, Rifat Latifi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of reviewPreoperative nutrition support has been extensively studied; however, data on the timing of postoperative nutrition initiation are scarce. The current review focuses on the importance of early nutritional support in surgical patients and their impact on outcomes.Recent findingsEarly nutrition support during the postoperative course may be the most important step that can be taken toward preventing subsequent malnutrition-related complications. European Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition guidelines recommends early nutrition to improve outcomes after surgery and accelerates the recovery. Moreover, nutritional support should be personalized, and disease process-based.SummaryExisting studies appear to focus mostly on abdominal and gastrointestinal surgery. Further prospective observational and randomized clinical trials across different surgical populations will aid surgeons to better understand how early feeds in either form can reduce morbidity, quality of life, and increase recovery rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-705
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in critical care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • critically ill
  • enteral nutrition
  • gastrointestinal surgery
  • nongastrointestinal surgery
  • nutrition support
  • parenteral nutrition
  • stress response
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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