Nutritional support is used for patients who cannot get enough nourishment by eating or drinking. Patients may need it if they cannot swallow (such as patients with Parkinson disease or stroke syndromes); have problems with their appetite; are severely malnourished; or cannot absorb nutrients through your digestive system.

Patients may receive nutritional support through feeding tubes, intravenous catheters. Some patients may benefit from gastrostomies.

For these patients a large variety of nutritional support systems exist including: artificial hydration and nutrition, Hyper-alimentation, Parenteral nutrition, (Total Parenteral nutrition or TPN), and tube feeding.

Surgeons of patients who need nutritional support lead a team of nurses, pharmacists and dieticians who recommend the best nutritional support system for a single patient. Both patients in need of nutritional support and their families may discuss the various options with the patient’s doctor and nutritional specialists.

Dr. Zulma González-Caraballo leads the Nutritional Support division of the Department of Surgery of the PR Medical Center. Thousands of patients receive a state-of-the-art Nutritional Support yearly during their acute illnesses, or benefit from this support for the duration of their chronic diseases.

Zulma González-Caraballo, MD
Division Director