University of Oulu

Nurkkala, J., Lahtinen, S., Kaakinen, T. et al. Causes of nutrition deficit during immediate postoperative period after free flap surgery for cancer of the head and neck. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 278, 1171–1178 (2021).

Causes of nutrition deficit during immediate postoperative period after free flap surgery for cancer of the head and neck

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Author: Nurkkala, Juho1; Lahtinen, Sanna1; Kaakinen, Timo1;
Organizations: 1Department of Anesthesiology, Medical Research Centre and Research Group of Surgery, Anesthesia and Intensive Care, University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, P.O. Box 21, 90029, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-23


Purpose: The aim of the present of study was to examine nutrition deficit during the immediate postoperative in-hospital period following free flap surgery for cancer of the head and neck (HNC). Underfeeding and malnutrition are known to be associated with impaired short- and long-time recovery after major surgery.

Methods: This single-center retrospective cohort study included 218 HNC patients who underwent free flap surgery in Oulu University Hospital, Finland between the years 2008 and 2018. Nutrition delivery methods, the adequacy of nutrition and complication rates were evaluated during the first 10 postoperative days.

Results: A total of 131 (60.1%) patients reached nutritional adequacy of 60% of calculated individual demand during the follow-up period. According to multivariate analysis, nutrition inadequacy was associated with higher ideal body weight (OR 1.11 [1.04–1.20]), whereas adequate nutrition was associated with higher number of days with oral food intake (OR 0.79 [0.67–0.93]).

Conclusion: Inadequate nutrition is common after HNC free flap surgery. The present results suggest that more adequate nutrition delivery might be obtained by the early initiation of oral food intake and close monitoring of nutrition support.

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Series: European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology
ISSN: 0937-4477
ISSN-E: 1434-4726
ISSN-L: 0937-4477
Volume: 278
Issue: 4
Pages: 1171 - 1178
DOI: 10.1007/s00405-020-06206-1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
3122 Cancers
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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