Mayo Home Enteral Nutrition

By Mayo Clinic Staff
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Tube placement options for enteral nutrition Tube placement options for enteral nutrition

Team Members:
Physician: James Scolapio, M.D., 904-953-7060.
Dietitian (Program Coordinator): Michelle Romano, R.D., C.N.S.D., 904-953-7033.

What is home enteral nutrition?
Home enteral nutrition (HEN) refers to enteral feeding used in a home setting. An enteral feeding program is necessary when you cannot eat an adequate amount of nourishment by mouth. Home enteral nutrition provides you with the appropriate amount of calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat and essential vitamins and minerals. Home enteral nutrition may be only a few weeks or for the rest of one's life.

Why do I need HEN?
Injury or disease can interrupt your normal food intake. You may not be able to take nourishment by mouth, or you may be able to consume food or fluids by mouth, but not enough to meet your nutritional needs. Home enteral nutrition enables you to meet your nutritional needs at home.

Where are the tubes placed for enteral nutrition feeding?

What type of training will I receive?
The dietitian will teach you the skills needed to prepare, administer and monitor your tube feedings.

Is HEN expensive?
The cost of HEN varies, but it can be expensive. Costs are totally or partially covered by third-party payers (insurance, Medicare, Medical Assistance). Discuss financial concerns with the dietitian and physician. He or she can assist in pursing appropriate third-party reimbursement. A social worker also can provide information on other financial resources.

What happens after I go home?
Regular follow-up visits with your physician and HEN team will be necessary. Additional communication is maintained through telephone and mail contact. The dietitian is available to help you with any tube-feeding problems if they occur.

Where will I get the supplies that I need?
The dietitian will explain the supply options available and help you arrange for home supplies and equipment. Reliable, cost-effective sources for your supplies and equipment will be identified by the dietitian.