HealthDay News — Coffee consumption speeds the time to bowel movement after complete staging surgery of gynecologic cancers, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Kemal Güngördük, MD, from the Mugla Sitki Kocman University in Turkey, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial involving 114 patients who were allocated preoperatively to postoperative coffee consumption three times daily (58 patients) or routine postoperative care without coffee consumption (56 patients). As part of complete staging surgery for endometrial, ovarian, cervical, or tubal cancer, all patients underwent total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with systemic pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy. 

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The researchers found that patients who consumed coffee had significantly reduced mean time to flatus (30.2 ± 8.0 versus 40.2 ± 12.1 hours), mean time to defecation (43.1 ± 9.4 versus 58.5 ± 17.0 hours), and mean time to the ability to tolerate food (3.4 ± 1.2 versus 4.7 ± 1.6 days), compared with control subjects (all P<0.001). Mild ileus symptoms were seen in 30.4 and 10.3% of patients in the control and coffee groups, respectively (P=0.01). Coffee consumption was well tolerated and well accepted, with no intervention-related side effects.

“This simple, cheap, and well-tolerated treatment should be added as an adjunct to the postoperative care of gynecologic oncology patients,” the authors write.

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