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  • Nutrition


Malnutrition is a common problem among patients undergoing surgery and is a risk factor for postoperative complications. Surgery itself leads to inflammation, which will trigger a metabolic stress response to achieve appropriate healing and functional recovery.1

It is estimated that 30% of people admitted to acute hospitals and care homes are at risk of malnutrition.2

Nutrition intervention can play an integral role in recovery post-surgery. Malnutrition can negatively affect wound healing, and in patients with undernutrition, there is a higher risk of post-operative complications including morbidity and mortality.2

Nutritional Management

When patients do not meet their energy needs from normal food it is recommended to take oral nutritional supplements during the preoperative period. Early postoperative nutrition is associated with significant reductions in total complications and has a beneficial effect on outcomes such as mortality or hospital length of stay.1

Oral nutritional supplements have been shown to be cost-effective in hospitalised patients.1


For people undergoing surgery, the following feeds may be suitable:

Ensure Plus range

Our oral nutritional supplements for adults and older children include the Ensure Plus range. Ensure Plus comes in a variety of flavours, and the range includes milkshake, yoghurt and juice styles, as well as crème (dessert-style). There are also fibre-containing products and low volume products within the range.

In those older individuals who are malnourished, an ONS high in protein and vitamin D in particular, can have a valuable role to play in improved recovery.2Ensure Plus Advance is a high energy, high protein oral nutritional supplement rich in vitamin D and CaHMB (calcium-β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate).

Abbott Tube Feeding range

Our tube feeds are designed for people who cannot take in all of the calories and nutrients they need by mouth. Tube feeding usually starts in hospital, and involves delivering a nutritionally complete, liquid feed directly into the stomach or small bowel via a narrow tube. Once the individual leaves hospital, the person, or their carer, will be trained on how to manage feeding at home as necessary.

Vital 1.5 kcal

Vital 1.5 kcal is suitable for people with disease-related malnutrition and malabsorption or for those who experience symptoms of poor feed tolerance. Vital 1.5 kcal is a peptide-based* feed that is available both as a 200 ml oral nutritional supplement, and as a 1000 ml Ready to Hang tube feed, both of which attach directly to Abbott giving sets.


Perative is a high protein 1.3 kcal/ml, peptide-based* tube feed for the dietary management of people with malabsorption or who experience symptoms of poor feed tolerance. Perative is available in 500 ml and 1000 ml Ready to Hang bottles, which attach directly to Abbott giving sets.

*Peptides are partially broken down proteins, which makes them easier to digest and absorb in the gut than whole proteins.

To find out more about any particular product in our wide range of adult, older children and paediatric feeds, please click here.


  1. Weimann A et al. Clin Nutr 2017;36:623-650.
  2. Johnson N, 2018:
    Accessed June 2020.

Date of preparation June 2020 UK-ENSP-2000008

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