A rather unusual but very practical study was conducted in American hospitals and presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons in San Francisco reveals that those who chew gum after elective colon resection surgery recover sooner than those who do not.
The study involves 102 patients undergoing elective colon resection surgery. The patients were divided into two groups: one receiving only the standard fare (sips of clear liquid after laparoscopic colon surgery), and the other receiving chewing gum at meal times, in addition to the standard fare.
The researchers found that those who use chewing gum leave the hospital one day sooner than the other group.
A possible explanation is that chewing gum after surgery can help prevent or reduce postoperative ileus. Ileus refers to a condition where the digestive system remains inactive for a period of time post-surgery. Gum chewing stimulates the digestive system, making it feel normal sooner. The sooner the system feels normal, the sooner it starts to work again.
Source: American College of Surgeons