Randomized controlled trial of bisacodyl suppository versus placebo for postoperative ileus after elective colectomy for colon cancer

Sukanya Wiriyakosol, Youwanuch Kongdan, Chakrapan Euanorasetr, Noppadol Wacharachaisurapol, Panuwat Lertsithichai
Asian Journal of Surgery 2007, 30 (3): 167-72

OBJECTIVE: To compare the use of bisacodyl suppository with placebo in resolving postoperative ileus after elective colectomy in a randomized controlled trial.

METHODS: Twenty elective colectomy patients were randomized to receive either bisacodyl or placebo suppository on the third postoperative day. Outcomes included time to first defaecation, length of hospital stay, and postoperative complications. Participants and the primary investigator were unaware of the treatment assignment.

RESULTS: All 10 participants in the bisacodyl group defaecated on the third postoperative day, while participants in the placebo group defaecated on days 3 (2/10), 4 (5/10) and 5 (3/10) (p < 0.001). The average lengths of hospital stay for the bisacodyl and placebo groups were 8.5 +/- 2.7 days and 10.4 +/- 5.3 days, respectively (p = 0.325). No significant complications occurred in either group.

CONCLUSION: Bisacodyl suppository seems to be effective and safe in resolving postoperative ileus after elective colectomy in colon cancer patients.

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