Sometimes your digestive system isn't able to process foods. Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) gives you liquid nutrition through a tube (catheter) inserted into a vein. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrate, and fats. The nutrients go directly into the blood. They don't go through the digestive tract.
You may need TPN if you:
You can have TPN for days, weeks, or as long as needed. When your body is able to digest food, your doctor will stop giving you TPN.
You may get medicine to make you relax or sleep and to numb the area of your chest or neck where the TPN will go in.
Then the doctor makes a cut (incision) and places one end of a thin, flexible tube into a vein. He or she takes an X-ray to make sure that one end of the tube is at the right place in your body. The other end of the tube is outside your body, where the liquid TPN goes in. This is called the port.
TPN comes in pouches that are attached to a pump. The pump delivers the nutrients into the tube at a steady, controlled rate. The liquid goes into your body very slowly for 12 to 14 hours each day.
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Current as of: July 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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