Faster Recovery of Gastrointestinal Transit After Laparoscopy and Fast-Track Care in Patients Undergoing Colonic Surgery

Department of Gastroenterology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 16.72). 05/2011; 141(3):872-880.e1-4. DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2011.05.034
Source: PubMed


Postoperative ileus is characterized by delayed gastrointestinal (GI) transit and is a major determinant of recovery after colorectal surgery. Both laparoscopic surgery and fast-track multimodal perioperative care have been reported to improve clinical recovery. However, objective measures supporting faster GI recovery are lacking. Therefore, GI transit was measured following open and laparoscopic colorectal surgery with or without fast-track care.
Patients (n = 93) requiring elective colonic surgery were randomized to laparoscopic or conventional surgery with fast-track multimodal management or standard care, resulting in 4 treatment arms. Gastric emptying and colonic transit were scintigraphically assessed from days 1 to 3 in 78 patients and compared with clinical parameters such as time to tolerance of solid food and/or bowel movement and time until (ready for) discharge.
A total of 71 patients without mechanical bowel obstructions or surgical complications requiring intervention were available for analysis. No differences in gastric emptying 24 hours after surgery between the different groups were observed (P = .61). However, the median colonic transit of patients undergoing laparoscopic/fast-track care was significantly faster compared with the laparoscopic/standard, open/fast-track, and open/standard care groups. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that both laparoscopic surgery and fast-track care were significant independent predictive factors of improved colonic transit. Both were associated with significantly faster clinical recovery and shorter time until tolerance of solid food and first bowel movement.
Colonic transit recovers significantly faster after laparoscopic surgery and the fast-track program; laparoscopy and fast-track care lead to faster recovery of GI motility and improve clinical recovery.

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