TUESDAY, Aug. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The time to first postoperative bowel movement after elective laparoscopic colorectal resection is shorter in those drinking coffee versus noncaffeinated tea, according to a study published in the August issue of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum.

Simone Hasler-Gehrer, M.D., of Kantonsspital Baden in Switzerland, and colleagues randomly assigned 115 patients who underwent elective laparoscopic colorectal resection to receive either coffee (56 participants) or noncaffeinated tea (59 participants). The patients had undergone surgery of the colon or rectum at an accredited public hospital in Switzerland and were given 150 mL of their assigned beverage at 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. every day from the day after surgery until their discharge from the hospital.

The researchers found that the first postoperative bowel movement occurred 8.9 hours earlier in the group that received coffee (65.2 versus 74.1 hours; hazard ratio, 1.67). Patients who received coffee also had shorter hospital stays (six versus seven days).

“Our study shows that early postoperative coffee intake after elective laparoscopic colorectal resection leads to a faster recovery of bowel function and thus potentially decreases length of hospital stay,” the authors write. “Because of its easy availability and low adverse effects, coffee could be integrated in the postoperative management of patients undergoing colorectal resections.”

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