Influence of gum-chewing on postoperative bowel activity after laparoscopic surgery for gastric cancer: A randomized controlled trial

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



In some studies, gum-chewing was demonstrated to have a beneficial effect on resumption of bowel function; however, other contradictory findings in other studies refute the effects of gum-chewing on peristaltic movements and digestive system stimulation. In addition, most previous studies were after colorectal or gynecology surgery, whereas few reports focused on the effect of gum-chewing after gastrectomy. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to assess the effectiveness of gum-chewing on postoperative bowel function in patients who had undergone laparoscopic gastrectomy.


From March 2014 to March 2016, 75 patients with gastric cancer received elective laparoscopic surgery in Shanghai Tongji hospital and were postoperatively randomly divided into 2 groups: 38 in a gum-chewing (Gum) group and 37 in a control (No gum) group. The patients in the Gum group chewed sugarless gum 3 times daily, each time for at least 15 minutes, until the day of postoperative exhaust defecation.


The mean time to first flatus (83.4 ± 35.6 vs. 79.2 ± 24.2 hours; P = 0.554) and the mean time to first defecation (125.7 ± 41.2 vs. 115.4 ± 34.2 hours; P = 0.192) were no different between the no gum and Gum groups. There was also no significant difference in the incidence of postoperative ileus (P = 0.896) and postoperative hospital stay (P = 0.109) between the 2 groups. The postoperative pain score at 48 hours (P = 0.032) in the Gum group was significantly higher than in the no gum group. There was no significant difference between the 2 groups in regards to patient demographics, comorbidities, duration of surgery, complications, and nausea/vomiting score.


Gum-chewing after laparoscopic gastrectomy did not hasten the return of gastrointestinal function. In addition, gum-chewing may increase patient pain on the second postoperative day.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles