Postoperative Nutrition Therapy

Professional dietary care during the first weeks and months after surgery is of utmost importance for the future course of the disease. Following a phase of adaptation, the body weight will stabilize, and most of the patients will be able to eat all kinds of food again, depending on the type of the disease.

• In patients who have lost all appetite, or in palliative patients, it is recommended that additional enteral or parenteral nutrition be provided at night for an extended period; this applies also to outpatients. Application of a tube or catheter during surgery is desirable. It facilitates postoperative nutrition therapy in a timely fashion.

• In case of side effects and loss of appetite due to cancer treatment, the patient can be supplied with additional nutrients (101).

• A significant reduction in postoperative complications and less time spent in the hospital can be achieved through special immunonutri-tion (19). Such diets usually contain several im-munomodulating substrates, such as arginine, glutamine, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, appropriate indications are still being discussed (106).

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