Obstetrics/GynecologyOriginal Article

Safety and Efficacy of Immediate Postoperative Feeding and Bowel Stimulation to Prevent Ileus After Major Gynecologic Surgical Procedures

James Fanning, DO, and Rod Hojat, MD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Published: August 1, 2011

J Osteopath Med; 111(8): 469-472

Context: Postoperative ileus is a major complication of abdominal surgical procedures.

Objectives: To evaluate the incidence of ileus and gastrointestinal morbidity in patients who received immediate postoperative feeding and bowel stimulation after undergoing major gynecologic surgical procedures.

Methods: During a 5-year period, the authors tracked demographic, surgical outcome, and follow-up information for 707 patients who underwent major gynecologic operations. All patients received the same postoperative orders, including immediate feeding of a diet of choice and bowel stimulation with 30 mL of magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) twice daily until bowel movements occurred.

Results: Of 707 patients, 6 (<1%) had postoperative ileus. No patients experienced postoperative bowel obstruction and 2 patients (0.3%) had postoperative intestinal leak. No serious adverse effects associated with bowel stimulation were reported.

Conclusions: Immediate postoperative feeding and bowel stimulation is a safe and effective approach to preventing ileus in patients who undergo major gynecologic surgical procedures.

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