What is included in postoperative care for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)?

Updated: Dec 27, 2017
  • Author: Shelley C Springer, JD, MD, MSc, MBA, FAAP; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Answer

After undergoing an operation for NEC, infants should continue to receive intravenous antibiotics and total parenteral nutrition for at least 2 weeks. Supportive care, including ventilatory support, fluid and electrolyte monitoring and replacement, and correction of anemia and coagulopathy, should continue.

During surgery infants with NEC often develop a coagulopathy that continues after surgery and can be difficult to manage. Blood can fill the abdominal cavity rapidly and create a compartment syndrome that requires drainage. Any infants with continued clinical deterioration must be evaluated for residual intestinal gangrene and possibly repeat surgical exploration. Infants who improve postoperatively should not resume enteral feedings for at least 10-14 days.


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