Background: Several studies have reported that postoperative enteral nutrition (EN) reduced complications and decreased weight loss and hospital stay periods; however, the majority of patients analyzed in these studies underwent open thoracic surgery. No studies have been conducted regarding EN in patients after thoracoscopic esophagectomy as a less invasive surgery. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of EN after thoracoscopic esophagectomy. Methods: Fifty patients who underwent thoracoscopic esophagectomy for esophageal cancer were divided into two groups: parenteral nutrition (PN; n = 25) and EN (n = 25). The rate of weight loss at postoperative day (POD) 14, levels of prealbumin at POD 10, postoperative complications until POD 14, and other perioperative data were collected for each group. Results: This study analyzed data for 47 patients. The rate of weight loss at POD 14 was significantly lower in the EN group (3.0 ± 3.2 %) than in the PN group (4.0 ± 3.6 %; p = 0.020). Prealbumin levels were 21.0 ± 7.5 mg/dL in the PN group and 18.4 ± 5.8 mg/dL in the EN group at POD 10, with no significant differences between the groups. However, the incidence of postoperative pneumonia was higher in the PN group (30.4 %) than in the EN group (12.5 %). Conclusions: EN could suppress weight loss and reduce the incidence of pneumonia after thoracoscopic esophagectomy.
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