To compare different postoperative management methods on the recovery of bowel function after robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP). This is a prospective study of 716 patients who underwent RALP at Severance Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, between March 2017 and February 2018. Instructions for the different postoperative management methods (mobilization, abdominal massage, hot pack therapy, and gum chewing) were presented to patients, who subsequently reported when these activities were performed as well as the time to first flatus on a designated form. There were no significant differences in age, height, weight, body mass index, body surface area, prevalence of hypertension and diabetes mellitus, and in American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) scores with respect to early bowel recovery. Prolonged times of surgery and anesthesia significantly caused delays in bowel recovery. The total number and time of mobilization, total time of hot pack therapy, and number of gum chewing were significantly and positively associated with bowel recovery. A Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that all of the postoperative management methods were positively associated with the mean time to first flatus. Methods of postoperative management (mobilization, abdominal massage, hot pack therapy, and gum chewing) have positive effect on bowel motility after RALP. Furthermore, reductions in the times of surgery and anesthesia could significantly decrease prolonged delays in bowel recovery.
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