K Gungoruk et al, 2020. Coffee consumption and recovery from intestinal function after laproscopic gynecological surgery: a randomized controlled trial, International Journal of Surgery, published online.

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To investigate the effect of postoperative coffee consumption on bowel motility after laparoscopic gynecological surgery.

Materials and methods: 
In this randomized controlled trial, patients were allocated postoperatively to 3 cups of either coffee or warm water at 6, 12, or 18 h after the operation. Total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingectomy were performed on all patients. In addition, a salpingo-oophorectomy and systematic pelvic with/without para-aortic lymphadenectomy were performed according to clinical indications. The primary endpoint was time to the first passage of flatus after surgery.

A total of 96 patients were enrolled; 49 patients were assigned to the coffee group, and 47 were enrolled in the control group (warm water). The median time to flatus (19 [13-35] vs. 25 [15-42] h; hazard ratio [HR] 1.9, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.9; P = 0.0009), median time to defecation (30 [22-54] vs. 38 [26-65] h, HR 2.4, 95% CI, 1.5-3.8; P < 0.0001), and mean time to tolerate food (2 [2-5] vs. 3 [2-8] days, HR 1.5, 95% CI, 1.02-2.3; P = 0.002) were decreased significantly in patients who consumed coffee compared with the control subjects. Postoperative ileus was observed in seven patients (14.9%) in the control group and one patient (2.0%) in the coffee group (P = 0.02). No adverse events were attributed to coffee consumption.

Postoperative coffee intake after laparoscopic gynecological surgery hastened the recovery of gastrointestinal function by reducing the time to the first passage of flatus, time to the first defecation, and time to tolerate a solid diet. This simple, cheap, and well-tolerated treatment merits routine use alongside other existing enhanced recovery pathways in the postoperative setting.

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