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This leaflet will help you with information about parenteral nutrition and help to dispel any anxieties you may have. Parenteral nutrition is known as PN or total parenteral nutrition (TPN). It is an alternative way of providing you with nutrition when the gut does not work or is inaccessible. All the nutrients will be introduced directly into your veins.
In order to provide you with PN a small sterile tube (which may also be called a catheter or a line) will be inserted into one of the large veins near your heart. This line will often be referred to as a PICC line (periperally inserted central catheter). The line will be put in under your skin usually from your inner upper arm. These lines are inserted by specially trained nurses and in most cases can be done on the ward with some local anesthetics and sterile conditions. The procedure will take approximately 20 minutes during which time you will need to lie still. After the line is in place you will need a chest x-ray to make sure the line is in the correct place.
Your doctor/surgeon may feel that you need to rest your gut in order to promote healing, or your gut might not be accessible. We always aim to use the gut where possible and PN is only considered when the gut is inaccessible.
Careful monitoring of your progress is essential and will include:
There are some serious risks associated with receiving PN, which your doctor/ surgeon will discuss with you prior to commencement. These are summarized below.
Please speak to a nurse, dietitian, doctor or pharmacist if you have any other questions.
This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information here is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.
Publication Date: May 2021
Review Date: February 2024