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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3087904, 13 pages
Review Article

Chewing Gum for Intestinal Function Recovery after Colorectal Cancer Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University & School of Nursing Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China
2Department of Intensive Care Unit, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China
3Nanjing Children’s Hospital, Nanjing 210000, China
4Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Meifen Shen

Received 18 June 2017; Revised 21 August 2017; Accepted 6 September 2017; Published 8 October 2017

Academic Editor: Per Hellström

Copyright © 2017 Binbin Mei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. This meta-analysis was performed to assess the efficacy and safety of chewing gum in intestinal function recovery after colorectal cancer surgery. Methods. A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, Science Direct, and Cochrane library for relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published until April 2017. Summary risk ratios or weighted mean differences with 95% confidence intervals were used for continuous and dichotomous outcomes, respectively. Results. 17 RCTs with a total number of 1845 patients were included. Gum chewing following colorectal cancer surgery significantly reduced the time to first passage of flatus (WMD −0.55; 95% CI −0.94 to −0.16; ), first bowel movement (WMD −0.60; 95% CI −0.87 to −0.33; ), start feeding (WMD −1.32; 95% CI −2.18 to −0.46; ), and the length of postoperative hospital stay (WMD −0.88; 95% CI −1.59 to −0.17; ), but no obvious differences were found in postoperative nausea, vomiting, abdominal distention, pneumonia, and mortality, which were consistent with the findings of intention to treat analysis. Conclusions. Chewing gum could accelerate the recovery of intestinal function after colorectal cancer surgery. However, it confers no advantage in postoperative clinical complications. Further large-scale and high-quality RCTs should be conducted to confirm these results.