Chewing Gum on Postoperative Ileus in Children (GUM_1)

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Manitoba
Updated on 2 February 2023
abdominal surgery
postoperative ileus
Accepts healthy volunteers


Traditional postoperative care has been challenged recently to improve and speedup recovery (including the return of bowel function) such that patients can be discharged to home more quickly. This approach includes earlier mobilization of the patient, and introducing solid food sooner. Additionally, there is evidence in adults to suggest that "sham feeding" by chewing gum may also speed up bowel recovery so the patient may tolerate a solid diet earlier.

The aim of this study is to determine if gum chewing can enhance bowel recovery in children who undergo abdominal surgery.


After intestinal surgery, many patients suffer from a "postoperative ileus" (POI). The cause is multifactorial and can be attributed to surgery itself, the lingering effect of the anesthetic, the use of narcotics and decreased mobility of the patient.

An ileus can delay the time to full diet, thus lengthening the hospital stay of the patient - sometimes up to several weeks.

There is evidence that early drinking/eating and increased mobility may accelerate the return of bowel function. "Fast-tracking" is well documented in the adult literature; protocols have been put in place to enhance GI tract recovery and thus decrease the morbidity of a prolonged hospital stay and ileus. "Fast-tracking" has been done in pediatric patients but not in a large RCT for abdominal surgery.

Condition Bowel Ileus, Flatus
Treatment gum chewing
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03666377
SponsorUniversity of Manitoba
Last Modified on2 February 2023

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