A randomized trial of chewing gum to prevent postoperative ileus after laparotomy for benign gynecologic surgery

Amelia M. Jernigan, Chi Chiung Grace Chen, Catherine Sewell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective To assess whether chewing gum prevents postoperative ileus after laparotomy for benign gynecologic surgery.

Methods A randomized study was conducted from December 1, 2010, to February 29, 2012. Patients scheduled to undergo laparotomy were randomly assigned to receive chewing gum or routine care after surgery. A chart review was performed to establish incidence of nausea and vomiting, use of antiemetics, cases of postoperative ileus (≥ 2 episodes of emesis of 100 mL or more, with abdominal distention and absence of bowel sounds), and time to discharge. Inpatient surveys recorded the time to specific events.

Results A total of 109 patients were randomly assigned to receive chewing gum (n = 51) or routine postoperative care (n = 58). Fewer participants assigned to receive chewing gum than routine care experienced postoperative nausea (16 [31.4%] versus 29 [50.0%]; P = 0.049) and postoperative ileus (0 vs 5 [8.6%]; P = 0.032). There were no differences in the need for postoperative antiemetics, episodes of postoperative vomiting, readmissions, repeat surgeries, time to first hunger, time to toleration of clear liquids, time to regular diet, time to first flatus, or time to discharge.

Conclusion Chewing gum after laparotomy for gynecologic surgery is safe and lowers the incidence of postoperative ileus and nausea. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01579175.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-282
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Volume127
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Keywords

  • Chewing gum
  • Gynecologic surgery
  • Ileus
  • Laparotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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