Article Abstract

Jejunostomy or nasojejunal tube after esophagectomy: a review of the literature

Authors: Fernando Augusto de Vasconcellos Santos, Luiz Gonzaga Torres Júnior, Alberto Julius Alves Wainstein, Ana Paula Drummond-Lage


Patients undergoing esophagectomy for cancer are a difficult to treat group of patients. At diagnosis they will present some degree of malnutrition in up to 80% and the causes are from multifactorial origin: the inability of food ingestion, advanced age, taste disturbances, and morbidity related to neoadjuvant treatment. In order to restaure the nutritional status, enteral nutritional support is preferable to parenteral support because of the risks of septic complications associated with venous catheters. During the postoperative period, the oral route is often inaccessible in these patients due to swallowing disorders and eventually mechanical ventilation, and if possible, often it does not provide sufficient caloric amounts for postoperative energy balance. For these reasons, it is usually recommended additional nutritional support. There are few studies in the literature that specifically address which is the most adequate route for enteral nutrition in patients undergoing esophagectomy. Nasojejunal catheters present a higher incidence of local complications, such as displacement and occlusion, whereas jejunostomy is more associated with reinterventions for the treatment of complications secondary to extravasation. Although there is weak evidence in the literature and a lack of randomized, prospective and multicenter studies evaluating the best enteral nutrition route in the postoperative period of esophagectomy, the use of the nasoenteric catheter seems to be adequate due to its simplicity of positioning and low rates of severe complications. In this paper a review is performed of the evidence about this subject.