Enhanced recovery protocols (ERPs) aim to improve outcome following major abdominal surgery. Our ERP for radical cystectomy focuses on reduced bowel preparation and standardised feeding and analgesic regimens. Although the ERP safely decreased hospital stay, time to return of bowel function has not been affected. The current study aims to assess the addition of chewing gum on return of bowel function as part of an ERP. We examined the addition of chewing gum to our ERP. Data was obtained retrospectively from 112 consecutive patients, 56 before and 56 after implementing chewing gum in to the EPR. The primary outcome measured was return of bowel function signified by first defecation after surgery. The demographics of the two groups showed no significant difference in age, gender distribution, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, or type of urinary diversion. A significant reduction in the time to return of bowel function was observed in patients using chewing gum post-operatively (4 versus 6 days, p < 0.0001). The median inpatient stay was 13 days in both groups; however there was a trend to an earlier discharge in those patients receiving chewing gum. The introduction of chewing gum to our ERP is associated with a faster return of bowel function and may lead to a reduced inpatient stay.
- Chewing gum
- Radical cystectomy