oa South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition - Nutritional management of a complicated surgical patient by means of fistuloclysis : SASPEN case study

Volume 27, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1607-0658
  • E-ISSN: 2221-1268



A fistula is defined as an abnormal communication between two organs, an organ and the skin, or an organ and a wound. Up to 70% of patients with fistulae present with malnutrition. Enteral nutrition (EN) has considerable advantages over parenteral nutrition (PN) support, including improved gut barrier function, a reduction in infectious morbidity and improved immune function. EN support remains the preferred route of nutrition support in patients with fistulae, unless it causes a significant increase in fistula output, abdominal pain or exacerbates diarrhoea. Fistuloclysis, i.e. enteral feeding via an intestinal fistula, is an effective means of providing nutritional support to these patients and can replace the need for PN support.

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