Chewing gum after cardiac surgical procedure could speed up the return of intestine operate

Chewing gum after coronary heart surgical procedure could kickstart the digestive tract, serving to sufferers really feel higher and probably be discharged earlier than those that do not use this usually secure and easy intervention, in keeping with analysis introduced in the present day on the 18th Annual Perioperative and Vital Care Convention from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Previous to our examine, there have been no beforehand revealed research taking a look at using chewing gum in cardiac surgical procedure sufferers, however we discovered that it might speed up the return of intestine operate. This easy-to-implement intervention can be utilized with nearly all sufferers within the postoperative setting.”

Sirivan S. Seng, MD, Resident Doctor, Crozer-Chester Medical Heart in Upland, Pennsylvania

Dr. Seng and colleagues studied sufferers from Crozer-Chester Medical Heart who acquired elective open coronary heart surgical procedure, aortic valve substitute, or mitral valve restore/substitute. One group comprised 341 sufferers who underwent surgical procedure from 2017 to 2020 and took half within the sugarless chewing gum protocol after their operations. A second group, which included 496 sufferers, acquired related coronary heart surgical procedures between 2013 and 2016, however didn’t chew gum after their procedures.

The analysis discovered that solely two of the gum-chewing sufferers (0.59%) had confirmed postoperative ileus, whereas 17 sufferers within the non-gum chewing group (3.43%) developed postoperative ileus-;lack of regular muscle contractions within the intestines that results in a buildup and potential blockage of meals materials.

This transient shutdown of the digestive system is among the many extra widespread issues following coronary heart surgical procedure, occurring in as much as 5.5% of sufferers, Dr. Seng defined. Whereas not a significant well being concern, ileus could result in stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and issue tolerating a traditional food regimen. In consequence, sufferers could expertise discomfort, sluggish restoration, and longer hospital stays, which in flip, results in will increase within the bodily, emotional, and monetary burden on sufferers.

“An underappreciated concern after cardiac surgical procedure is the event of an ileus or a sluggish return of bowel operate,” mentioned Rakesh C. Arora, MD, PhD, from St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, who was indirectly concerned on this analysis. “The notion that one thing so simple as chewing gum after coronary heart surgical procedure might reduce this drawback is very interesting. In a whole bunch of sufferers present process cardiac surgical procedure who got one piece of gum to chew after recovering off the ventilator, fewer than 1 in 100 sufferers developed an ileus. This was a putting practically 5-fold discount in comparison with the historic common. This anticipated examine can be extremely mentioned with a lot to chew on!”

Chewing gum is believed to stimulate the intestines by tricking them into believing that meals is coming. This is called “sham feeding,” which is any process that mimics regular meals consumption however the place foods and drinks should not truly digested or absorbed.

In line with the researchers, postoperative gum chewing is an efficient and cheap intervention that helps enhance how sufferers really feel after surgical procedure. When sufferers really feel higher, they’re extra more likely to take part in their very own recoveries and finally be discharged quicker.

“Given the minimal danger and intensely trivial price of this intervention, the incorporation of chewing gum following cardiac surgical procedure needs to be strongly thought-about as a brand new customary of care,” mentioned Dr. Seng. “Discuss to your surgeon about contemplating utilizing chewing gum after surgical procedure. Nearly everybody can profit from an reasonably priced, tasty, and refreshing pack of gum.”


The Society of Thoracic Surgeons

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