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Mar 2012

Routine Nasogastric Decompression Is Unnecessary After Pancreatic Resections

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

Arch Surg. 2012;147(3):287-289. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.1260

Data regarding the use of nasogastric tubes (NGTs) in patients who are undergoing pancreatic resections are limited. We analyzed outcomes after 231 consecutive pancreatectomy procedures in an academic surgical oncology practice. We routinely placed NGTs intraoperatively throughout the first part of the study interval; orogastric tubes (OGTs) were removed intraoperatively before endotracheal extubation whenever possible in the second part of the study (n = 75 [32%]). The median postoperative NGT duration was 1 day (OGT group, 0 days; NGT group, 2 days [P < .001]). Reinsertion of the NGT was necessary in 43 patients (19%) and did not differ between patients after routine NGT or OGT use (19% vs 19%). Nasogastric tubes were reinserted after 74% of major complications compared with 29% of minor complications (P < .001). Our experience demonstrates that the use of NGTs can be safely avoided in patients who are undergoing pancreatectomies.

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