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Gastrointestinal transit after laparoscopic versus open colonic resection

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Background: Multimodal rehabilitation with epidural analgesia, early oral nutrition and mobilization, and laxative use has decreased the duration of ileus after colonic surgery to about 2 days, as compared with the usual 3 to 5 days of rehabilitation required after open surgery and the slightly shorter time required with laparoscopic surgery. Gastrointestinal transit after colonic resection with laparoscopy or laparotomy was assessed. Methods: In this study, 32 patients randomized to laparoscopic or open colonic resection received 4 MBq of 111indium diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid, a tracer, at the end of surgery. Images of the abdomen were obtained 24 and 48 h postoperatively. An opaque abdominal dressing blinded care personnel and patients to the procedure. Results: Defecation occurred on median day 2 postoperatively in both groups. At 48 h postoperatively, 53% of the tracer was excreted by patients in the laparoscopic group, as compared with 26% in the open group (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Postoperative ileus and gastrointestinal transit normalized within 48 h after colonic resection in the patients who received multimodal rehabilitation. No significant difference was observed between the patients who underwent the laparoscopic procedure and those who underwent the open procedure.

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Basse, L., Madsen, J., Billesbølle, P. et al. Gastrointestinal transit after laparoscopic versus open colonic resection . Surg Endosc 17, 1919–1922 (2003).

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