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Randomised controlled trial
Perioperative use of chewing gum affects the inflammatory response and reduces postoperative ileus following major colorectal surgery
  1. Bruce U Su'a,
  2. Andrew G Hill
  1. Department of Surgery, The University of Auckland, Middlemore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Bruce U Su'a, Department of Surgery, South Auckland Clinical Campus, The University of Auckland, c/- Middlemore Hospital, Private Bag 93311, Otahuhu, Auckland 1640, New Zealand; bruce.sua{at}

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Commentary on: OpenUrlCrossRefPubMed


Postoperative ileus (POI) affects one in four patients undergoing major elective abdominal surgery. It is associated with prolonged hospital stay and other postoperative complications, and carries a significant financial burden on healthcare facilities.1 Some studies suggest the inhibition of the inflammatory response after surgery may reduce the development of POI. Chewing gum is hypothesised to exert an effect via reduction of postoperative inflammation through cephalic vagal activation. Although a number of systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been published, the role of chewing gum in POI still remains unclear.2 Additionally, with the …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.