Coffee consumption positively affects intestinal function following abdominal surgery with bowel resection. This study aimed to quantify the effect of coffee on intestinal activity after laparoscopic ventral rectopexy (LVR).
We conducted a single-center, open-labeled, randomized controlled trial from 2014 to 2016 (UMIN-CTR, UMIN000024908). Patients who had undergone scheduled LVR for rectal intussusception or external rectal prolapse were randomly assigned to a coffee group or a water group (23 per group) and asked to drink 100 ml of either coffee or water after the procedure. Each participant was orally administered a radiopaque marker capsule the morning after surgery, and abdominal radiographs were obtained daily. The primary outcome was the total number of evacuated radiopaque markers 26 h after administration. Secondary outcomes included time to first flatus and defecation and results of segmental transit analysis of the markers on radiographs.
The mean number of evacuated radiopaque markers 26 h after administration in the coffee group was significantly higher than that in the water group (1 [range, 0–6] vs. 0 [range, 0–0]; p = 0.04), however, the mean time (hours) to first defecation (55.1 [range, 19.1–114.0] vs. 69.7 [range, 20.7–141.6]; p = 0.13) or time (hours) to first flatus (9.3 [range, 0.5–47.1] vs. 12.6 [range, 1.1–46.1]; p = 0.35) was not significant.
Coffee consumption accelerates bowel movements, but its clinical effect after LVR is also small. Further studies about the indication of coffee for the type of surgery or the optimal amount of coffee consumption are warranted.