An Evidence-Based Approach to Perioperative Nutrition Support in the Elective Surgery Patient

Robert G. Martindale, Stephen A. McClave, Rosemary A. Kozar, Daren K. Heyland, Keith R. Miller, Paul E. Wischmeyer, Beth Taylor, Stephen A. McClave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In surgical practice, great attention is given to the perioperative management of the elective surgical patient with regard to surgical planning, stratification of cardiopulmonary risk, and postoperative assessment for complication. However, growing evidence supports the beneficial role for implementation of a consistent and literature-based approach to perioperative nutrition therapy. Determining nutrition risk should be a routine component of the preoperative evaluation. As with the above issues, this concept begins with the clinician’s first visit with the patient as risk is assessed and the severity of the surgical insult considered. If the patient is an appropriate candidate for benefit from preoperative support, a plan for initiation and reassessment should be implemented. Once appropriate nutrition end points have been achieved, special consideration should be given to beneficial practices the immediate day preceding surgery that may better prepare the patient for the intervention from a metabolic standpoint. In the operating room, consideration should be given to the potential placement of enteral access during the index operation as well as judicious and targeted intraoperative resuscitation. Immediately following the intervention, adequate resuscitation and glycemic control are key concepts, as is an evidence-based approach to the early advancement of an enteral/oral diet in the postoperative patient. Through the implementation of perioperative nutrition therapy plans in the elective surgery setting, outcomes can be improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39S-50S
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • enteral nutrition
  • parenteral nutrition
  • perioperative nutrition
  • tube feeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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