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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/22/2008 5:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I have a question, but first a little background on me.  I was on here before under the preacherswife name, but due to move and well just bad memory I couldn't remember my log on info.  So now I am homesick preachers wife.  Anyway I had been doing well since my last surgery at Cleveland Clinic back in 2006, that is until  3 months ago.  I have now lost close to 70 pounds and have just been told that I have a fistula going from one part of intestine to another part.  Long story somewhat short, I have 6 ft. of small intestine left with an iliostomy, 10 surgeries under my belt.  (No pun intended) well actually it might have been intended now that I think about it.  The Dr's just informed me that my body isn't getting any nutrients.  Yeah I kind of already got that idea. 
My question is.  What is TPN, what do I expect from this, you know all the info someone could use please.  I have to go meet   with the surgeon on Thursday to discuss if he  is comfortable doing this surgery, or if he is going to send me out of state to Cleveland again for the 3rd  time in 4 years. 
Your help would be appreciated.
Homesick Preachers Wife

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/22/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   

hi ther... i assume it means the same in UK....its total parental nutrition...basically they feed you. I had this 2 1/2 yrs ago through central line over a period of 48/72 hours, i cant quite remember.

mine was a thick white liquid had minegiven through a central line .....a minor surgical (done under local anasthetic) procedure inserts the central line into a major artery.  Mine was for the same reason lack of vitamin levels and discussion of surgery...thankfully due to the TPN and infusions of Infliximab....i dont know what you call it , i avoided surgery.


Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 4/22/2008 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there PW,

I remember you, and I've been wondering how you've been doing. I'm really sorry to hear you're so unwell.

Do you remember Randy, our TPN pro? With luck, he'll be along shortly and will be able to give you expert advice.

*hugs* and welcome back,

Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/22/2008 6:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Ivy6, I do remember Randy. I was just talking about him to my husband wondering how he was doing. Thank-you for the welcome back.
31 year old with one beautiful 11 year old gift from God.  Married to my best friend for 13 years.
Diagnosed @ 17 yrs old.  10 Surgeries w/ Illiostomy, currently awaiting # 11
Meds are Humira, entocort, and  others as they see fit.
Always remember that laughing will help any problem.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 4/22/2008 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hokay, I was on TPN, not so much for bowel rest as I was allowed to eat in addition to the TPN for weight gain. Mine was thru a PICC line. A glorified IV set in the upper arm, usually of your dominant arm, but the small catheter tube is run thru that vein almost to your heart, just above it in the main vein leading to it. They sometimes use a small portable ultrasound to find the strongest, largest vein in the upper arm and then do an xray after to be sure the catheter is properly placed. Sometimes they thread the catheter thru the vein under flouroscopy.

That PICC line stays in for as long as you are on TPN. I was on TPN 14 hours a day. No biggie. You can walk around and do what you want to do. You can even leave the house and go shopping or whatever. They give you a backpack to carry the pump which will run x amount of hours on batteries. Twice a week homecare came out to flush the line and draw blood. The blood is run thru the lab so that they can determine what TPN "recipe" you need, sometimes your needs change. My TPN solution was delivered once a week (you need a good size refrigerator for storage).

I usually ran my TPN from about 6PM until 8AM. But you can adjust the hours w/in reason to fit your schedule. I wouldn't hesitate to do TPN again.
If you do need yet another surgery and I were you I would insist on going to CC for the surgery. Mayo Clinic is a 12 hour drive for me but no way would I have a resection ANY place but Mayo!!!! Why even consider a surgery locally when you have the CC option???

Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2527
   Posted 4/23/2008 12:10 AM (GMT -7)   
i have been on TPN about 4 times now. two of these ttimes was post op when I hand the NG tube due to ilius. The 1st time I had it was when 1st Dx whhen I was 8. I got it in the hospital thru a triple lumen cath in my chest. I was given the option then to get the feedings at home. I was sedated and a portacatth was placed. my parents were taught how to do the feedings, how to add the iv meds etc. ............more recently (11-07) I went in the hospital to have a PICC line placed for tpn to try and heal my fistula. The picc line was placed in my upper arm (i have had a total of 3 piccs placedsince 2-07 since i have horrible veins that post op i needed them). The tpn was delivered weekly to me they mixed the lipids in and a nurse comes to yoour home ...after a week at least that was how long I was in the hospital to regulate the tpn....and teaches you how to administer the tpn and mix in anything else nedded, how to run the pump etc. in 87 when i had it at home it was on a pole so I had a comode in my room.....back in november the new technology was good. the pump charged duringg thhe day so I was not plugged into the wall plus it alll went in a backpack that i placed on the floor at was about 5 lbs. However IV fluids were still done using the gravity (pole) method. Unfortunatly my picc line in nov., became infected...I blame it on the US when at the hospital they removed the sterile dressing and got US gel in the picc line hole then noone at the iv place told my nurse i was home til I called a 2nd time thereffore the area was contaminated like that for a few hrs...the nurse was ticked that noone gave her that msg.
Dx with Crohn's 1987, symptoms as early as 1984.
Temp iliostomy February 2007, reversed June 2007, Ovarian cysts, migraines, allergies (incl food allergies) , oral allergy syndrome (diff than true food allergies), Asthma, Gall Bladder removed 1999, Inguenal hernia 1987

Lady G
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 4/23/2008 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
My dad is exactly like CrohnieToo, has the tpn lines going through this arm and over his heart and all, he has had it for years and is quite well on it--I think he is one of those cases that might be on it forever. Its lines they stick in you to pump fluids/nutrition into you-think Iv's in a hospital when you go in and need painkillers or meds, but this is for food and more permanent. He has the backpack he carries around if he goes out so he still has his freedom, and he starts and stops whichever hours suit him, usually 9 or 10 at night I think he hooks up and runs til the morning (its very flexible)...he has had no problems with it (except an infection one time in the tubing near his chest, watch out for that happening)...same weekly drop offs of supplies (which of course means your schedule will need to be open to you or someone else being home when they arrive). I wouldn't say its anything to be afraid of from what I have seen and watched of him.
27 year old, married. Diagnosed with Crohns at 17, suspected of having for at least a year or so before that.  Alot of Crohns in my family history.  No surgeries yet. Imuran treatment with Prednisone tapering at moment.  Possible Fistula.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6117
   Posted 4/23/2008 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
hpw, hi. well everyone else pretty much explained it as well as i could.. i have been on TPN since dec of 1999.. so 8+ years.. with the amount of intestiones you have left, you may not have to be on it for a very long time.. even my 2 ft have adapted somewhat and i need less amounts of calories in mine. after you get settled, if this is what you decide to do, look into intestinal rehabilitation.. they have come along way in treating malabsorbtion. with special liquids . the only thing is it very intensive and has to followed precisely.. and the evaluation process is expensive.. good luck

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