Effects of Gum Chewing on Post Operative Ileus

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Postoperative ileus is a possibly deadly complication that occurs after many abdominal surgeries and operations. An ileus is where the bowels “fall asleep” after trauma and fail to “awaken” for quite some time following surgery. Postoperative ileus can affect patient nutrition, comfort and especially length of stay, which results in a major cost to insurance companies and hospitals. According to Chan and Law (2007), the economic burden resulting from postoperative ileus is $7.5 billion per year in the United States alone not including the expense of missed work. Clearly, the issue of postoperative ileus duration is one that deserves attention and necessitates a solution. Right now, doctors are forced to offer motility agents, trials with early feeding, and hopeful reassurance that bowel function will return shortly. Each of these methods have their own set of complications and risks, such as nausea and vomiting, and are not proven to be significantly effective at reducing postoperative ileus duration. Recent clinical trials show that chewing gum postoperatively may hold promise in reducing postoperative ileus and thereby decrease length of stay. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to use the Stetler Model of Research Utilization to examine the research regarding the use of gum chewing to reduce the duration of postoperative ileus in abdominal surgery patients. Validation

The articles used to draw conclusions from included two primary articles and two systematic reviews. Before comparing the findings, it is important to examine each individual study and examine the specific parts of all studies in question. In the study by Matros, et al. (2006), the authors tested a directional hypothesis and were trying to develop a predictive level of knowledge. This experiment examined to see if gum chewing was more effective at decreasing recovery time from a postoperative ileus as compared against the standard practice and a placebo. The authors stratified, randomized...
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