01.06.2013 | Review Article
Nutritional support in patients following damage control laparotomy with an open abdomen
V. Bansal, R. Coimbra
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
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Damage control laparotomy (DCL) and the open abdomen have been well accepted following either severe abdominal trauma or emergency surgical disease. As DCL is increasingly utilized as a therapeutic option, appropriate management of the post-DCL patient is important. Early caloric support by enteral nutrition (EN) in the critically ill patient improves wound healing and decreases septic complications, lung injury, and multi-system organ failure. However, following DCL, nutritional strategies can be challenging and, at times, even daunting.
Even though limited data exist, the use of early EN following DCL seems safe, provided that the patient is not undergoing active resuscitation or the bowel is not in discontinuity. It is unknown as to whether EN in the open abdomen reduces septic complications, prevents enterocutaneous fistula (ECF), or alters the timing of definitive abdominal wall closure. Future investigation in a prospective manner may help elucidate these important questions.