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Does Coffee Affect Bowel Recovery Following Minimally Invasive Colectomy? A Three-Armed Randomized Controlled Trial.

Presented at
American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress, 2022. San Diego, CA

Yosef Nasseri, Eli Kasheri, Kimberly Oka, Rachel Zhu, Abbas Smiley, Jason Cohen, Joshua Ellenhorn, Moshe Barnajian

Previous studies have suggested that coffee may hasten postoperative bowel recovery. We sought to evaluate the impact of both coffee and caffeine on shortening the return of postoperative bowel function following minimally invasive colectomy.

This was a single center, prospective, randomized controlled clinical trial conducted in a tertiary hospital. Patients undergoing an elective robotic or laparoscopic
colectomy without an ostomy were randomized into three groups: warm water (WW), decaffeinated coffee (DC), and caffeinated coffee (CC). Subjects were assigned to drink a 4-ounce cup three times daily starting on postoperative day one. The primary outcome was time to first bowel movement and was assessed by multivariable linear regression models. Secondary outcomes included time to first flatus, length of hospital stay, and postoperative morbidity.

A total of 99 patients were included in this study: 31 WW, 31 DC, and 37 CC. The groups were similar in age and sex (p=0.51 & 0.91, respectively). Mean (SD) time
to the first bowel movement in days was 2.94 (1.4), 2.58 (1.2), and 2.86 (1.3), respectively (p=0.53). There were no significant differences observed in length of
hospital stay (p=0.056) and postoperative morbidity (p=0.52). Multivariable linear regression analysis did not reveal a statistically significant association between any of three interventions and either time to first bowel movement or time to first flatus.

Coffee (caffeinated or decaffeinated) does not expedite return of bowel function following minimally invasive colectomy. Larger, standardized trials will provide further insight into the clinical effectiveness of coffee on bowel recovery.