The first 2-3 days, the patient receives no food.
Then a feeding tube is passed through the nose until it reaches the distal part of the duodenum or jejunum. This is done in order to prevent the stimulation of the excretory function of the pancreas by the food. This is considered to be a preferable choice in comparison to parenteral feeding. The farther the feeding tube is passed the better it is tolerated. Special elemental feeding formulas (instead of polymeric formulas) are used to further improve the tolerance; however, they are much more expensive. Pancrealipase powder is mixed with the feeding formula to ensure proper digestion.
Patients who suffer from severe necrotic acute pancreatitis, after recovery in the hospital are sent home with the feeding tube still in place. Depending on the rate of recovery, the patient may remain without oral food intake for 3-4 weeks – and in some cases for months – until all symptoms of pancreatitis subside.