Surgery Today

, 41:1200 | Cite as

Functional outcome, quality of life, and efficacy of probiotics in postoperative patients with colorectal cancer

  • Seiji Ohigashi
  • Yoshinori Hoshino
  • Sachiko Ohde
  • Hisashi Onodera
Original Article



We investigated the functional outcome and health-related quality of life (QOL) of patients who underwent a surgical resection of colorectal cancer, and reviewed the efficacy of probiotics for improving bowel function.


A questionnaire was mailed to 193 patients. Questionnaires contained the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36-Item Health Survey and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 as QOL scores, the Wexner incontinence score, and original questionnaire items about bowel functions. Probiotics, containing Bacillus natto and Lactobacillus acidophilus, were given to 77 patients for 3 months; after 3 months of treatment, the same questionnaire was administered. The results were analyzed by location of the resected cancer: rectal, colonic, right, and left.


In the rectal group, defecation frequency, anal pain, and the Wexner score were significantly worse than in the colonic group. In the right group, the fecal form was looser and nighttime defecation frequency was higher than those of the left group. Three items in the QOL score of the right group were significantly worse compared with the left group. Functional outcome including defecation frequency, feeling of incomplete defecation, and five items in the QOL score were significantly improved after taking probiotics. Improvement in functional outcome and/or QOL was observed in all groups.


Not only rectal resection but also rightside colectomy affected bowel dysfunction. Probiotics could be an effective treatment for improvement in functional outcome and QOL after colorectal resection.

Key words

Postoperative quality of life Colorectal cancer Bowel function Probiotics 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seiji Ohigashi
    • 1
  • Yoshinori Hoshino
    • 2
  • Sachiko Ohde
    • 3
  • Hisashi Onodera
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterological SurgerySt Luke’s International HospitalTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryKeio University HospitalTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Center for EpidemiologySt Luke’s Life Science InstituteTokyoJapan

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