The Effect of Warm Water Intake on Bowel Movements in the Early Postoperative Stage of Patients Having Undergone Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy A Randomized Controlled Trial

Caliskan N., BULUT H., KONAN A.

GASTROENTEROLOGY NURSING, vol.39, no.5, pp.340-347, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/sga.0000000000000181
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.340-347
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


This study was aimed at determining the effect of oral administration of warm water during the postoperative initial stage on the time of first flatus in patients who had undergone laparoscopic cholecystectomy. In the literature, it is emphasized that warm water has favorable effects on intestinal movements such as "reliving gastrointestinal spasms and helping peristalsis return." This randomized controlled trial and experimental study was conducted in a university hospital between May and December 2011. In the study sample, we included a total of 60 patients; 30 were in the experimental group (drank warm water), while the other 30 composed the control group. Patients were randomized through a simple random sampling method. The experimental group was provided with 200 ml of warm water at 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees C) in the fourth postoperative hour and were made to drink it within 15 minutes. Patients received no oral intake other than warm water until the eighth postoperative hour. The oral feeding of both groups started in the eighth postoperative hour with fluids and soft food. They shifted to the normal diet as tolerated. In the analysis of the data and percentage numbers, chi-square test and Fisher's exact test, Student's t test, Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis variance, and correlation analysis were used. The results of the data were considered reliable and statistically significant when they were in the reliability interval of 95% and p <.05. No significant differences were found between the patients in the experimental and control groups in terms of demographic features, bowel habits, surgery durations, postoperative applications, nausea/vomiting conditions, and initial mobilization times (p >.05). Groups were homogeneously distributed. Flatus expulsion in the experimental group was 11 +/- 4.2 hours and was determined to be 18.6 +/- 6 hours for patients in the control group (p <.05); in contrast, no signifi cant difference was detected in terms of the times of stool defecation (p >.05). It was determined that warm water intake in the fourth postoperative hour significantly decreased the first flatus expulsion period and had a favorable impact on intestinal movements.