Enteral nutrition is defined as nutrition given through a feeding tube. This offers several advantages as compared to parenteral nutrition. Parenteral nutrition should only be used when nutritional requirements cannot be met via the gastrointestinal tract or when there is bowel dysfunction. Undoubtedly, enteral nutritional support is superior to total parenteral nutrition in terms of achieving nutritional goals, improving outcomes, maintaining gastrointestinal mucosal integrity, promoting immunosecretory function, and avoiding infectious complications.
I would like to offer my special thanks to William Guzman Jr., medical and biological illustrator, for his contribution to the fulfillment of this chapter with the designing of medical images.