Could chewing gum contribute in expediting a person’s recovery from surgery? Apparently, it could!
Previous studies have already suggested that patients actually recover faster after gastrointestinal surgical procedures when they chew gum. A new study indicates that this approach could also prove advantageous following other types of surgeries. A group of researchers recruited a little over one hundred patients who were undergoing a complete ablation of the bladder and a urinary diversion, which are essential procedures following the discovery of a localized cancer. They asked half of their subjects to chew five pieces of gum for one to four hours at a time, starting on the day after surgery. Bowel activity for the patients “treated” with chewing gum seemed to resume faster than that of those who were not. These patients were even discharged from hospital a little bit earlier than their peers.
These results are similar to those obtained in other studies. It is thought that the beneficial effect is the result of a combination of neurological and hormonal actions that are activated by mastication (chewing motion), which in turn stimulate bowel movement. The good news is that this type of therapeutic aide is safe, simple and quite inexpensive. And you can even choose your favourite flavour!