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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Oct;205(4):309-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.05.010. Epub 2011 May 12.

Perioperative bowel management for gynecologic surgery.

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Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pennsylvania State University, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.


Postoperative intestinal care after major gynecologic surgery has changed considerably. The purpose of this review was to describe these changes. Our findings are that (1) preoperative mechanical bowel preparation does not lower the risk of anastomotic leakage and infection, (2) elective postoperative nasogastric tube decompression increases postoperative pneumonia and does not decrease the incidence of other postoperative complications, (3) early feeding after major gynecologic surgery reduces hospital stay and does not increase (and may decrease) pneumonia and other postoperative complications, and (4) early feeding, gum chewing, bowel stimulation, alvimopan, and ketorolac may decrease the incidence of postoperative ileus.

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