The aim of this study was to answer the question whether or not, after an operation for duodenal atresia, a transanastomotic feeding tube reduces the time to full preanastomotic feeding. The method used was a retrospective study and a prospective observation. 18 consecutive newborns with duodenal atresia, nine from each of two different centres of paediatric surgery, were studied retrospectively. The patients in one centre received a nasogastric tube and a transanastomotic feeding tube during the operation, while in the other centre only a nasogastric tube was used. Seven control patients with duodenal atresia treated postoperatively with a nasogastric tube and a transanastomotic feeding tube were prospectively observed. The main outcome measure used to compare these two groups was the time required to achieve full preanastomotic feeding.
Results: The patients who were treated postoperatively with the transanastomotic feeding tube needed significantly less time to achieve full preanastomotic feeding than those with a nasogastric tube only (P < 0.001, Mann-Whitney U test).
Conclusion: The use of a transanastomotic feeding tube, after an operation for duodenal atresia, leads to earlier full preanastomotic feeding.