Background/Purpose: Postoperative ileus after abdominal operations is thought to be related to the degree of surgical trauma, and it has been shown that the simple act of opening the peritoneum can decrease gastrointestinal motility. Accordingly, some investigators have shown a reduction in the duration of postoperative ileus after laparoscopic procedures. It is not clear, however, if this reduction is secondary to less manipulation of the viscera or to the lack of an abdominal incision. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of intraabdominal insufflation with CO2 on postoperative gastrointestinal transit. Methods: Twenty-eight male mice weighing between 25 and 30 g were divided randomly into 4 groups: Control (unoperated), Incision (conventional laparotomy), Cecal (laparotomy plus cecal manipulation), and Insufflation (abdominal insufflation with CO2). Postoperative gastrointestinal motility was assessed by weighing total fecal output over the first 15 postoperative hours. Results: Fecal pellet output over 15 hours in the untreated control group was 1.20 ± 0.12 g. In mice subjected to peritoneal incision alone, fecal pellet output was significantly decreased to 0.82 ± 0.11 g (P< .05). However, in mice subjected to abdominal insufflation with CO2, fecal pellet output was not significantly different from untreated controls (1.2 ± 0.05 g; not significant). Fecal pellet output was markedly reduced by incision combined with cecal manipulation (0.24 ± 0.02 g, P < .01). Conclusions: The current study findings show that abdominal insufflation, in a procedure similar to that used during laparoscopic surgery, had no measurable effect on gastrointestinal transit in awake mice. This suggests that the lack of an abdominal incision can contribute to a reduced postoperative ileus after abdominal surgery.
- Postoperative ileus
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