SATISFACTORY preoperative and postoperative treatment of the surgical patient must include adequate nutrition. When the patient cannot or will not eat, the parenteral feedings he receives are often woefully lacking in calories, protein content, or both. Because the quantity of fluid required for intravenous alimentation has imposed severe limitations on the quantity of nutritive substances which can be administered by this route, it is mandatory that these substances be given in such a manner as to provide for their maximum utilization.
The absence of any mechanism for storage of a large amount of available protein in the body makes provision of exogenous protein imperative. However, it has been shown that when proteins or amino acids are supplied without sufficient calories, more are used by the body for energy than for tissue formation. A protein hydrolysate given intravenously can supply both the essential and the nonessential amino acids simultaneously and without