Early feeding was previously considered to increase the risk of postprocedural bleeding. However, many trials have demonstrated the benefits of early feeding after therapeutic endoscopic procedures. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to evaluate the safety and outcomes between early feeding and delayed feeding after therapeutic endoscopic procedures.
Medline (PubMed), Embase, Google Scholar, the Cochrane Library, and clinicaltrials.gov were searched to identify randomized controlled trials that met our inclusion criteria. The pooled data for the mortality rate, postprocedural bleeding rate, and length of hospital stay were analyzed.
A total of seven trials consisting of 717 patients were reviewed. These seven trials examined various therapeutic endoscopic procedures. Three trials included patients undergoing endoscopic hemostasis for upper gastrointestinal bleeding, two included patients undergoing esophageal variceal ligation, and two included patients with gastric neoplasm treated with endoscopic submucosal dissection. Although no significant differences were observed in the postprocedural bleeding rate or the mortality rate between patients who received early feeding and those who received delayed feeding, early feeding resulted in shorter hospital stays (weighted mean difference: -1.04, 95% confidence interval: -1.45 to 0.63).
Early feeding appears to be a safe management method for patients undergoing therapeutic endoscopic procedures. Therefore, we recommend early feeding for these patients.

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