Purpose: When postoperative ileus is not resolved after 5 days or recurs after resolution, prolonged POI (PPOI) is diagnosed. PPOI increases discomfort, morbidity and hospitalisation length, and is mainly caused by an inflammatory response following intestinal manipulation. This response can be weakened by targeting the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, with nicotine as essential regulator. Chewing gum, already known to stimulate gastrointestinal motility itself, combined with nicotine is hypothesised to improve gastrointestinal recovery and prevent PPOI. This pilot study is the first to assess efficacy and safety of nicotine gum in colorectal surgery. Methods: Patients undergoing elective oncological colorectal surgery were enrolled in this double-blind, parallel-group, controlled trial and randomly assigned to a treatment protocol with normal or nicotine gum (2 mg). Patient reported outcomes (PROMS), clinical characteristics and blood samples were collected. Primary endpoint was defined as time to first passage of faeces and toleration of solid food for at least 24 h. Results: In total, 40 patients were enrolled (20 vs. 20). In both groups, six patients developed PPOI. Time to primary endpoint (4.50 [3.00–7.25] vs. 3.50 days [3.00–4.25], p = 0.398) and length of stay (5.50 [4.00–8.50] vs. 4.50 days [4.00–6.00], p = 0.738) did not differ significantly between normal and nicotine gum. There were no differences in PROMS, inflammatory parameters and postoperative complications. Conclusions: We proved nicotine gum to be safe but ineffective in improving gastrointestinal recovery and prevention of PPOI after colorectal surgery. Other dosages and administration routes of nicotine should be tested in future research.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Colorectal surgery, Nicotine chewing gum, Postoperative ileus, Prevention
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-017-2839-z, hdl.handle.net/1765/101139
Journal International Journal of Colorectal Disease: clinical and molecular gastroenterology and surgery
Lambrichts, D.P.V. (Daniël P. V.), ter Hoeve-Boersema, G.S.A, Tas, B. (Buket), Wu, Z, Vrijland, W.W, Kleinrensink, G.J, … Menon, A.G. (2017). Nicotine chewing gum for the prevention of postoperative ileus after colorectal surgery: a multicenter, double-blind, randomised, controlled pilot study. International Journal of Colorectal Disease: clinical and molecular gastroenterology and surgery, 1–9. doi:10.1007/s00384-017-2839-z