We evaluated the use of a needle catheter jejunostomy in 83 consecutive patients who underwent complicated abdominal operations. We used the needle catheter jejunostomy to deliver immediate postoperative nutrition (mean, 1, 700 kcal/day) in 66 patients for a range of 4 to 80 days. In addition, the needle catheter jejunostomy was used to provide all maintenance fluid and electrolyte needs and to administer almost all required medications. No serious complications were related to use of the needle catheter jejunostomy, although easily controlled diarrhea occurred in 16 patients (19%). We concluded that the needle catheter jejunostomy is a safe and cost-effective means of delivering postoperative nutrition, fluid and electrolytes, and most medications in selected patients undergoing high-risk abdominal operations.
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