Role of Chewing Gum as A Predictor to Return of Bowel Activity After Caesarean Section

  • Abida Sajid Associate Professor, King Edward Medical University, Gynae Unit V, Lady Aitchison Hospital, Lahore
  • Alia Butt Assistant Professor King Edward Medical University, Gynae Unit V, Lady Acheson Hospital, Lahore
  • Aqsam Sajid Medical Student Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nayan Medical & Dental College, Lahore
  • Asif Hanif Assistant Professor (Bio Statistician), Gulab Devi Hospital, Lahore
  • Tayyiba Waseem Professor, Gyne Unit III, SIMS, Lahore
Keywords: gestational age, Chewing gum, bowel movements, passage of flatus


Objective: To compare the role of chewing gum as a predictor of bowel activity after the elective cesarean section in females presenting at term for delivery.  

Methodology: Non-Probability, consecutive sampling was used this randomized controlled trial that was conducted in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology unit 5 King Edward Medical University, Lady Aitchison Hospital, Lahore. After taking approval from hospital ethical committee, 460 females fulfilling selection criteria were taken in this study. Informed consent was taken from the participants and all females were divided randomly into two groups by using random number table. Sugar-free chewing gum commercially available in the market was used as an intervention. In group 1, females were received chewing gum after 6 hours of elective C-section for 30 minutes every 6 hours (three times a day) and group 2, females in the postoperative period was not receiving chewing gum (control group). Then both groups were followed in the post-operative ward for assessment of passage of first flatus and defecation (as per operational definition).  

Results: In group-1, duration of passing first flatus was 7.39 ± 1.98 hours and in group-2 (control group), duration was 12.80 ± 4.26 hours, the average duration of flatus was significantly lower in chewing gum group when compared with control, p-value < 0.001. In group1(chewing gum users) duration of defecation was 10.93 ± 2.78 hours and in the group- 2 (control) was 18.82 ± 5.46 hours, the average duration of defecation was significantly lower in chewing gum group when compared with control, p-value <0.001.

Conclusion: Current study result has illustrated that the gum chewing is quite beneficial to pass the flatus and defecation in less time duration. It must be included in standard postoperative care following a C-section as it is harmless and low-cost intervention. This might quickly recover the patient and reduce the time of hospital stay that can be executed in future

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