Does caffeine enhance bowel recovery after elective colorectal resection? A prospective double-blinded randomized clinical trial
Postoperative ileus is a common condition following abdominal surgery. Previous studies have shown the positive effects of coffee on gastrointestinal motility. The aim of this study was to assess whether caffeine is the stimulatory agent in coffee that triggers bowel motility and thus may reduce the duration of postoperative ileus.
This was a single-centered, prospective, randomized controlled, double-blinded clinical trial. Patients scheduled to undergo elective laparoscopic colectomy between November 2017 and March 2019 were randomly assigned to receive either oral caffeine (100 mg three times daily) or placebo following the procedure. Primary endpoints were time to first flatus and time to first bowel movement. Secondary endpoints were time to tolerate a solid, low-residue diet and length of hospital stay. Registration number: NCT03097900.
Seventy patients were included, [35 males, median age 56 years (range 19-79 years)]. After the exclusion of 12 patients, there were 30 patients in the caffeine group and 28 patients in the placebo group. The first passage of stool in the caffeine group occurred 18 h earlier than in the placebo group (p = 0.012); other endpoints did not reach statistical significance. No caffeine-related adverse events were observed.
Caffeine consumption following colectomy is safe, leads to a significantly shorter time to first bowel movement, and may thus potentially lead to a shorter postoperative hospital stay.
This information is intended for Healthcare professional audiences.
Please consider the environment before printing.