Does caffeine intake from coffee enhance bowel recovery after colorectal surgery:
The effects of coffee have been shown to act as a colonic stimulant. Caffeinated coffee stimulates colonic activity, most notably in the transverse/descending colon, in magnitude similar to a meal, 60% stronger than water, and 23% stronger than decaffeinated coffee. Moreover, the consumption of both water and caffeine causes a decrease in the rectal sensory threshold for the desire to defecate, while anal sphincter pressure after caffeine intake is significantly higher than after water intake. This may result in an earlier desire to defecate. Coffee has also been shown to have an effect on defecation by increasing rectal tone by 45% (measured with a barostat) thirty minutes after consumption.
Study’s primary objective: To determine if the use of coffee in the postoperative period will reduce time to recovery of GI function by at least one day in patients undergoing elective colorectal operations. (This will be assessed by twice daily interview of patients as to whether they have passed flatus or had a bowel movement)
Study’s secondary objective: To determine if the use of coffee in the postoperative period will reduce hospital length of stay by at least one day, and to also evaluate the tolerance of solid food, which will help determine postoperative ileus and rates of vomiting/nasogastric tube (re)insertion, and other perioperative morbidities such as an anastomotic leak, wound infection, and intra-abdominal abscesses in patients undergoing elective colorectal operations.