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Xylitol Gum Chewing to Achieve Early Postoperative Restoration of Bowel Motility After Laparoscopic Surgery

Gong, Yunhui MD*; Zhang, Qianwen MM; Qiao, Lin MD*; Lv, Donghao MD; Ruan, Jiaying MM*; Chen, Hongqin MM*; Gong, Junming MM*; Shi, Gang MS*

Surgical Laparoscopy, Endoscopy & Percutaneous Techniques: August 2015 - Volume 25 - Issue 4 - p 303–306
doi: 10.1097/SLE.0000000000000174
Original Articles

Our objective was to evaluate the effects of postoperative xylitol gum chewing on gastrointestinal functional recovery after laparoscopy. Altogether, 120 patients undergoing elective gynecologic laparoscopy were randomly divided into 2 groups of 60 each (final numbers: 53 controls, 56 patients). Controls underwent a routine postoperative regimen. Starting 6 hour after surgery, study patients chewed mint-flavored, sugarless xylitol gum until flatus occurred thrice a day. Other postoperative management was routine. First bowel sounds, first flatus, first bowel movement, and discharge times were recorded. Symptoms included abdominal distension, nausea, and vomiting. First flatus and first bowel sounds occurred significantly (P<0.001) earlier in the study patients. No significant differences were found for first defecation time, hospitalization duration, or mild/severe intestinal obstruction (all P>0.05). Thus, xylitol gum chewing after laparoscopy can effectively shorten the time to first flatus and helps with postoperative gastrointestinal functional recovery. It is simple, convenient, and well tolerated.

*Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, West China Second University Hospital

West China Clinical Medical College, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China

Department of Medical Epidemiology & Biostatistics Karolinska Institute, Sweden

Y.G. and Q.Z. contributed equally.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Gang Shi, MS, No.20 section 3 of Ren Min Lan Road, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China (e-mail:

Received October 8, 2014

Accepted April 6, 2015

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