Introduction and hypothesis: We sought to systematically review the literature regarding the effect of postoperative restrictions on clinical outcomes after pelvic surgery.
Methods: English-language articles were identified by a MEDLINE and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials search from inception to July 2010. We used key words describing various gynecologic surgical procedures and postoperative activities, including mobility, lifting, work, coitus, and exercise. Randomized and nonrandomized studies comparing interventions with outcomes of interest were included.
Results: The literature search yielded of 3,491 articles; 115 full-text articles were reviewed, and 38 met eligibility criteria and are reported and analyzed here. Our analysis revealed that expedited discharge protocols and early postoperative feeding and catheter removal result in shorter hospital stay without negative health outcomes. However, there are limited data to guide many other aspects of postoperative care, particularly regarding exercise and resumption of sexual activity after surgery.
Conclusions: There is good evidence to support early postoperative feeding and catheter removal after pelvic surgery. There are limited data to guide many other aspects of postoperative care.