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J Obstet Gynaecol. 2015;35(5):494-8. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2014.970146.

Gum chewing reduces the time to first defaecation after pelvic surgery: A randomised controlled study.

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a Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics , Faculty of Medicine, Selcuk University , Konya , Turkey.
b Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics , Faculty of Medicine, Akdeniz University , Antalya , Turkey.


Post-operative ileus is a major complication that increases the morbidity in patients who had abdominal surgery. Several different procedures have been used to manage bowel function, including adequate pain control, prokinetic drugs and supportive strategies. The present study aimed to assess the effect of chewing gum on bowel recovery in patients undergoing gynaecologic abdominal surgeries. A total of 137 patients were randomised into gum-chewing and control groups. Patients in the gum-chewing group began chewing gum at post-operative 3rd h and chewed gum thereafter every 4 h daily, for 30 min each time. All patients received the same post-operative treatment. Primary outcome measures were the time to first passage of flatus and time to first passage of stool. The secondary outcome measures included the first hearing of normal bowel sounds, nausea and the time until discharge from the hospital. Compared with the control group, the time interval between operation and first flatus was shorter in the gum-chewing group (median, 33 h vs 30 h). However, the difference was not significant (p = 0.381). The first defaecation time was significantly shorter in the gum-chewing group. The median time to first defaecation was 67 (20-105) h in the control group and 45 (12-97) h in the gum-chewing group (p < 0.01). Gum chewing is safe, well tolerated and it allows early defaecation after gynaecologic abdominal surgery.


Bowel recovery; Gynaecologic surgery; gum chewing; post-operative ileus

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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