Kantonsspital St.Gallen

CaCo: Does caffeine intake reduce postoperative bowel paralysis after elective laparoscopic colectomy? - A randomized placebo controlled trial

Thomas Steffen, Ulrich Beutner, Rene Warschkow, Ignazio Tarantino, Walter Brunner & Lukas Marti


Postoperative bowel paralysis is common after abdominal operations, including colectomy. As a result, hospitalization may be prolonged leading to increased cost. A recent randomized controlled trial from the University of Heidelberg showed that consumption of regular black coffee after colectomy is safe and associated with a significantly faster resumption of intestinal motility. The mechanism how coffee stimulates intestinal motility is unknown but caffeine seems to be the most likely stimulating agent.

Investigation of the effects of caffeine on the return of bowel function and appetite, length of hospital stay, and complications after elective laparoscopic colectomy.

Arm 1: postoperative intake of 3x placebo daily
Arm 2: postoperative intake of 3x 100 mg caffeine daily
Arm 3: postoperative intake of 3x 200 mg caffeine daily
type of project clinical studies
status ongoing - follow up
start of project 2015
end of project 2020
study design Interventional
Allocation: randomized
Intervention model: parallel assignment
Masking: double blind
Primary purpose: prevention
responsible person Dr. Thomas Steffen