S Rabiepoor et al, 2017. Does coffee affect the bowel function after caesarean section? Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol, published online.

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Postoperative ileus is a common consequence of abdominal surgery, which tends to prolong the duration of hospital stay and imposes considerable economic costs on healthcare system. Coffee is proved to have positive effects on gastrointestinal motility index in healthy young adults. Thus, the present study aims to examine effects of coffee on bowel function after caesarean section.

A total number 100 patients after elective caesarean section were randomly assigned before surgery into control and intervention groups. The intervention group received 100cc coffee at 8, 12 and 20h after the surgery, while the control group received 100cc hot water at the same intervals. First bowel sound, first passage of flatus, first defecation, and length of stay after surgery were compared in the two groups.

Mean time to first flatus passage was recorded in the control (22.54±5.09h) and intervention (17.28±4.44h) groups and showed to be statistically significant (p=-0.000). However, average time of first defecation (intervention 37.22±16.31h; control 36.82±16.5h; p=0.647) and mean time of hospital stay of patients (intervention 30.08±9.50h; control 32.16±11.82h; p=0.518) and first bowel sound (intervention 5.84±1.41h; control 6.16±1.33h; p=-0.326) were not statistically significant.

Drinking coffee after a caesarean section reduces time to first flatus in patients. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to examine effects of coffee on ileus after elective caesarean section.

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