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Am Surg. 2018 Oct 1;84(10):1675-1678.

Practice Changes in Postoperative Feeding after Elective Colorectal Surgery: From Prospective Randomized Study to Everyday Practice.

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Division of Colorectal Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Early postoperative feeding is the standard of care after colorectal surgery and is associated with improved outcomes. A controlled study performed at our center demonstrated faster bowel function recovery and shorter hospital stay without an increase in postoperative morbidity for a solid versus clear-liquid diet on postoperative day (POD) 1 after colorectal surgery. The present study aims to evaluate the impact of these findings on the practice of diet advancement by board-certified general surgeons (GS) and colorectal surgeons (CRS) at an urban teaching hospital. Patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery were prospectively evaluated. Data were compared with that of a study cohort that underwent elective colorectal surgery reported in 2012. Early postoperative feeding in the more recent cohort statistically increased for all cases on POD 0 and POD 1. Diet advancement over time revealed significant changes in early feeding on POD 0 for patients operated on by CRS (0% vs 83%; P < 0.0001) but not GS (13% vs 13%; P = 1). Patients operated on by either CRS or GS and offered early feeding on POD 1 did not significantly differ between time periods. Despite well-documented evidence of the advantages of early feeding, GS, but not CRS, remain reluctant to administer early diets to patients after colorectal surgery.

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