Article Abstract

Postoperative complications and weight loss following jejunostomy tube feeding after total gastrectomy for advanced adenocarcinomas

Authors: Hylke J.F. Brenkman, Stéphanie V.S. Roelen, Elles Steenhagen, Jelle P. Ruurda, Richard van Hillegersberg


Objective: Patients undergoing total gastrectomy for cancer are at risk of malnourishment. The aim of this self-controlled study was to examine the effect of jejunostomy tube feeding (JTF) and other factors on postoperative weight and the incidence of jejunostomy-related complications in patients undergoing total gastrectomy for cancer.
Methods: All consecutive patients who underwent total gastrectomy for gastric cancer with jejunostomy placement were included from a prospective single-center database (2003–2014). Jejunostomy-related complications and postoperative weight changes were evaluated up to 12 months after surgery. Multivariable linear regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with weight loss 12 months after gastrectomy.
Results: Of 113 patients operated in the study period, 65 received JTF after total gastrectomy for a median duration of 18 d [interquartile range (IQR), 10−55 d]. Jejunostomy-related complications occurred in 11 (17%) patients, including skin leakage (n=3) and peritoneal leakage (n=2), luxation (n=3), occlusion (n=2), infection (n=1) and torsion (n=1). In 2 (3%) patients, a reoperation was needed due to jejunostomy-related complications. The mean preoperative weight of patients was 71.8 kg (100%), and remained stable during JTF (73.9 kg, 103%, P=0.331). After JTF was stopped, the mean weight of patients decreased to 64.9 kg (90%) at 12 months after surgery (P<0.001). A high preoperative body mass index (BMI) (≥25 kg/m2) was associated with high postoperative weight loss compared to patients with a low BMI (<25 kg/m2) (16.3% vs. 8.6%, P=0.016).
Conclusions: JTF can prevent weight loss in the early postoperative phase. However, this is at the prize of possible complications. As weight loss in the long term is not prevented, routine JTF should be re-evaluated and balanced against the selected use in preoperatively malnourished patients. Special attention should be paid to patients with a high preoperative BMI, who are at risk of more postoperative weight loss.

Keywords: Gastric cancer; total gastrectomy; jejunostomy tube feeding; weight