Published: 2018-07-24

Effect of chewing gum on bowel motility in post operative patients following abdominal surgery: a clinical outcome based study

Anil Kumar, Rekha Kumari, Sushil Kumar, Pragati Raj


Background: One very important complication of abdominal surgeries is postoperative ileus which results in severe patient discomfort, prolonged hospitalization, and enhanced treatment cost. This study was conducted with an aim to analyze the clinical outcome of effect of chewing gum mainly to avoid post-operative paralytic ileus in post-operative patients of abdominal surgeries.

Methods: In this study total 200 patients were included, 100 were cases and remaining were controls. The cases were given chewing gum to chew after the surgery while the controls were allowed to heal without chewing gums in conventional style and both were observed hourly for clinical outcome.

Results: Among cases the mean duration of first sound heard was 26.3 hours while among controls this was 38.8 hours (p<0.001), the mean duration of first flatus passed among cases was 50.7 hours while that among controls was 68.5 hours, the mean duration of first Bowel passed among cases was 92.4 hours while that among controls was 128.3 hours (p<0.001). On comparing cases of routine with emergency surgeries, gastric with small bowel surgeries, and traumatic with pathological bowel surgeries it was observed that the first bowel sound, first flatus and first bowel passed appears significantly earlier in routine surgeries, gastric surgeries and traumatic surgeries respectively.

Conclusions: It was observed that chewing gum has significant effect over bowel motility as bowel sounds appeared significantly earlier in cases than control and time for first flatus passed and first bowel passed were also noted significantly earlier in cases than controls. Hospital stay of cases were found significantly lesser than control hence simple intervention like chewing can decrease the burden of disease of paralytic ileus from community.


Abdominal surgery, Bowel function, Chewing gum, Effectiveness

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