Postoperative gastrointestinal bowel transit right after colorectal resection has not yet been clarified. Thirty patients with rectosigmoid cancer were treated in this pilot study. The nasogastric tube was removed on the first postoperative day. One Sitzmarks capsule was given to each patient on the second postoperative day. Abdominal X-rays were taken at 3, 6, 8, 24, 48, and 72 hours after capsule intake. Distribution of the remaining Sitzmarks capsules were counted on X-ray films to clarify postoperative gastrointestinal movement after bowel resection. All Sitzmarks capsules were observed in the stomach at 3 and 6 hours after capsule intake. At 8 hours (second postoperative day), the Sitzmarks capsules were distributed from the stomach to the small intestine. Sitzmarks capsules were distributed in the right side colon at 24 hours (third postoperative day) after intake. Although the main distribution was still in the right side colon, several patients had evacuations accompanied by the disappearance of the Sitzmarks capsules. In 50% of the patients, it took approximately 72 hours (fifth postoperative day) for the first defecation after intake of the capsules. However, the Sitzmarks capsules remained mainly in the right side colon. Eight hours after intake, the majority of the Sitzmarks capsules shifted to the small intestine. Therefore, medication or feeding should be safely possible starting on the second postoperative day. There was no particular impact of bowel resection on upper gastrointestinal transit in patients with rectosigmoid cancer.
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