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What is Hyperalimentation? Print E-mail
Written by Phillip LaVeque   
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Hyperalimentation is a procedure in which nutrients and vitamins are given to a person in liquid form through a vein. It is only given to someone who cannot get nutrients from food.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?
Hyperalimentation is used for people with health problems that prevent them from absorbing enough nutrients through their stomachs. It is also used when a person is severely malnourished and cannot take in food by mouth.

Hyperalimentation might be used:
# before surgery if the person is malnourished. This can be caused by:
# congenital abnormalities causing disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, such as esophageal atresia
# esophageal stricture, which is a narrowing of the esophagus
# esophageal cancer or stomach cancer
# swallowing difficulties
# after surgery if a person is not recovering as quickly as expected or has complications relating to the surgery. This can be caused by:
# prolonged ileus, a severe blockage in the intestines
# short bowel syndrome, which occurs after someone has large amount of small intestines removed
# a fistula, an abnormal passageway between two internal organs, or leading from an internal organ to the surface of the body
# peritonitis, a severe infection in the abdominal cavity
# if a person has inflammatory bowel disease, including:
# severe gastroenteritis
# Crohn's disease
# ulcerative colitis
# extensive diverticulitis
# if a person cannot eat or is unable to absorb nutrients from food. This may be caused by:
# cancer of the GI tract, such as colon cancer
# chemotherapy or radiation therapy
# major trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident
# massive burns
# coma
# an eating disorder called anorexia nervosa

How is the procedure performed?
A central line is a special intravenous or IV line that is inserted through the chest and threaded into one of the large veins that lie close to the heart. A central line, rather than an IV line in an arm, must be used for this procedure because the solution is highly concentrated.

The hyperalimentation solution is tailored to the needs of the person, and contains:
# glucose, or sugar
# amino acids
# electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium
# vitamins
# fat emulsion


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