Actual postoperative protein and calorie intake in patients undergoing major open abdominal cancer surgery: A prospective, observational cohort study

Reickly D N Constansia, Judith E K R Hentzen, Rianne N M Hogenbirk, Willemijn Y van der Plas, Marjo J E Campmans-Kuijpers, Carlijn I Buis, Schelto Kruijff, Joost M Klaase

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Adequate nutritional protein and energy intake are required for optimal postoperative recovery. There are limited studies reporting the actual postoperative protein and energy intake within the first week after major abdominal cancer surgery. The main objective of this study was to quantify the protein and energy intake after major abdominal cancer surgery.


We conducted a prospective cohort study. Nutrition intake was assessed with a nutrition diary. The amount of protein and energy consumed through oral, enteral, and parenteral nutrition was recorded and calculated separately. Based on the recommendations of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN), protein and energy intake were considered insufficient when patients received

Fifty patients were enrolled in this study. Mean daily protein and energy intake was 0.61 +/- 0.44 g/kg/day and 9.58 +/- 3.33 kcal/kg/day within the first postoperative week, respectively. Protein and energy intake were insufficient in 45 [90%] and 41 [82%] of the 50 patients, respectively. Patients with Clavien-Dindo grade >= III complications consumed less daily protein compared with the group of patients without complications and patients with grade I or II complications.


During the first week after major abdominal cancer surgery, the majority of patients do not consume an adequate amount of protein and energy. Incorporating a registered dietitian into postoperative care and adequate nutrition support after major abdominal cancer surgery should be a standard therapeutic goal to improve nutrition intake.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition in clinical practice
Publication statusPublished - 12-May-2021


  • cancer
  • energy intake
  • enteral nutrition
  • nutrition support
  • parenteral nutrition
  • protein intake
  • surgery
  • ERAS

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