The Effect of Chewing Gum on Return of Bowel Activity after Caesarean Section: A Randomized Controlled Study
Objective: To compare mean time to return of bowel motility and passage of first flatus after elective caesarean section between gum chewing and control group.
Study Design: Randomized controlled study
Place and Duration: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, DHQ Teaching Hospital, Rawalpindi, from 30th Dec, 2016 to 30th Jun, 2017.
Methodology: After taking approval from the Ethical Review Committee of DHQ hospital and permission from all concerned authorities, study was initiated. All patients fulfilling the above mentioned inclusion criteria were explained the purpose and procedure of the study. Written informed consent was taken from the patient. A detailed history was taken and thorough physical examination was performed. Women were randomized by lottery method into two groups; group A (gum-chewing group) who had received one stick of sugar free gum for 15 minutes every 2 hours after surgery, and group B had a control group (non gum-chewing group). The two groups were followed up postoperatively and were monitored and compared for return of bowel activity by auscultation of bowel sounds every 2 hours and recording time to first pass of flatus.
Results: Total 160 patients were included in the study according to the inclusion criteria of the study. Mean age (year) was 25.39+3.60. Mean time to return of bowel motility after elective caesarean section in both the group was 7.23+1.06 and 27.00+1.03 which was statistically significant (p-value 0.000). Similarly, mean time of passage of flatus after elective caesarean section in both the group was 8.39+0.94 and 28.15+1.13 which was statistically significant (p-value 0.000).
Conclusion: The study concludes that mean duration of appearance of return of bowel motility and mean time of passage of stool after elective caesarean section in patients of chewing gum group was less than in control group. Thus, at the very least, gum-chewing immediately after surgery is more effective and harmless intervention to reduce postoperative ileus
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