Does chewing gum promote return of bowel function after colorectal surgery?

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Abstract

EVIDENCE-BASED ANSWER

Chewing gum decreases time to first flatus and time to first bowel movement by less than a day. It also decreases the incidence of postoperative ileus on postoperative day 5 with a general trend towards reducing length of hospital stay by up to 1 day. However, when early refeeding protocols are used as a comparator, this effect diminishes (SOR: A, meta-analyses of RCTs and single RCT).

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