Background: Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is a standard treatment for gastric neoplasia limited to the mucosa without lymph node metastasis. However, there are neither standardized guidelines nor studies on the best time to start oral intake after ESD. The aim of this study was to compare patient satisfaction, safety, length of hospital stay, and economic feasibility between an early post-ESD diet and the conventional immediate fasting protocol. Methods: A total of 130 patients with 156 gastric epithelial neoplasias who underwent ESD by a single expert endoscopist were consecutively and prospectively enrolled. Enrolled patients were randomized to an early diet group or a control group. The early diet group started meals as a clear liquid diet on day 0, and a soft diet and general diet in sequence on day 1. The fasting group was fasted for 2 days. Patients in both groups underwent second-look endoscopy within 2 days following ESD and follow-up endoscopy after 2 months. Results: In the course of the study, ten patients were excluded. The total number of patients in the early diet group and control group was 63 and 57, respectively. Mean age was 62 years (±9.4). There were no significant differences in clinicopathologic conditions or endoscopic results such as procedure time or size of lesions between the two groups. There were no significant differences in abdominal pain score, rate of post-ESD bleeding or healing rate of ESD-induced ulcer between the two groups. However, the early diet protocol led to significantly higher patient satisfaction (p = 0.001), lower hospital costs (p < 0.001), and shorter hospital stay (p < 0.001) than the conventional fasting protocol. Conclusions: An early post-ESD diet protocol provides higher patient satisfaction, is more cost effective, decreases hospital stay, and does not influence complication rates such as post-ESD bleeding, abdominal pain, or ulcer healing compared with the conventional fasting protocol.
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