Preoperative low-residue diet in gynecological surgery

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2022 Apr:271:172-176. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2022.02.018. Epub 2022 Feb 21.


Objective: To evaluate the impact of preoperative low-residue diet on intra- and postoperative outcomes among gynecological surgical patients.

Methods: This is a surgeon-blind, randomized controlled trial enrolling patients undergoing elective surgery for either benign disease or endometrial carcinoma. Patients were preoperatively randomized to receive either low-residue diet (arm A) or free diet (arm B) starting from three days before surgery. The primary outcome was the quality of the surgical field (scored using a 5-point scale, from poor to excellent). Secondary outcomes were postoperative pain (assessed through VAS scale), postoperative complications, operative time, time to first passage of flatus, length of hospital stay. Perioperative data were collected and compared between groups.

Results: A total of 96 patients were enrolled and randomized in arm A (n = 49; 51%) and arm B (n = 47; 49%). The mean age was 47.8 ± 15.6 years in arm A and 48.1 ± 11.3 years in arm B. Endometrial cancer patients were 16.3% in arm A and 10.6% in arm B, and patients with benign disease were 83.7% and 89.4%, respectively. The surgical evaluation of the small intestine was scored < 3 in 2.0% of arm A patients versus 31.9% in arm B (Odds Ratio (OR), 0.04 [95% CI, 0.01-0.35]; p < 0.001), and in 6.1% and 44.7% (OR, 0.08 [95% CI, 0.02-0.30]; p < 0.001), respectively, for large intestine. The mean operative time was 90.4 ± 33.4 min in arm A versus 111.6 ± 37.5 in arm B (Mean Difference (MD): -21.20 [95% CI, -35.43, -6.97]; p = 0.003). The number of patients who reported the time to first flatus within 24 h after surgery was significantly higher in arm A compared with arm B (77.6% vs 44.7%; OR, 4.28 [95% CI, 1.77-10.35]; p = 0.002). No significant differences in terms of postoperative complications, pain, and length of hospital stay were observed between the two groups.

Conclusion: Introducing a preoperative low-residue diet could improve the quality of the surgical field and reduce both the operative duration and the time to first passage of flatus among patients undergoing gynecological surgery. Further large-scale studies are required to confirm these findings.

Keywords: ERAS; Gynecology; Low-residue diet; Perioperative management; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Female
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Postoperative
  • Postoperative Complications* / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications* / etiology