Carmela Hoefling Discusses Effects of Malnutrition During Surgery

April 29, 2016
Carmela Hoefling, RN, MSN, APN-C, AOCNP

Carmela Hoefling, RN, MSN, APN-C, AOCNP, advanced practice nurse, Gastrointestinal/Hepatobiliary Oncology Program, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, discusses the effects that malnourishment can have on surgery.

Carmela Hoefling, RN, MSN, APN-C, AOCNP, advanced practice nurse, Gastrointestinal/Hepatobiliary Oncology Program, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, discusses the effects that malnourishment can have on surgery.

Malnourishment, which is a 10% loss of body weight within 6 months, is a common issue that patients with cancer face. When they go into surgery, patients who are malnourished tend to have longer hospital stays, prolonged recovery, and a higher rate of infection.

Hoefling found that correcting the malnourishment before surgery leads to better outcomes. However, this is not always a matter of simply feeding the patient. While some patients may be able to eat normally, others need to take their nourishment in different forms, such as in an IV form.