Postoperative ileus (POI) is a common complication after surgery that requires a multifactorial therapeutic approach. This study aims to assess the effect of topical chamomile oil on postoperative bowel activity after cesarian section.
This randomized controlled trial was carried out in 2015 at Chamran Hospital in Iran. A block randomization list was generated for 142 parturient divided into three groups. In the intervention group (arm A) (n = 47), chamomile oil was applied topically on abdominal region after the stability of the patient. Placebo group (arm B) (n = 47) received placebo oil and control group (arm C) (n = 48) had no intervention. A recovery program was used after surgery for all participants. The primary outcome was time to first flatus. Secondary outcomes were time to bowel sounds, defecation, return of appetite, hospital stay, and rate of nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain.
Times to first flatus were significantly shorter in Group A (arm A vs. B, P < 0.001 and arm A vs. C, P < 0.001). In addition, time to first bowel sounds (arm A vs. B, P < 0.001 and arm A vs. C, P < 0.001) and return of appetite (arm A vs. B, P < 0.001 and arm A vs. C, P < 0.001) were significantly shorter in arm A. The times from surgery to first defecation were shorter in Group A versus B and C. However, there were no statistically significant differences between three groups.
These results suggest that topical chamomile oil has a potential therapeutic effect on gastrointestinal motility and can reduce the duration of POI.
Cesarian section; Matricaria; complementary therapies; defecation; flatulence; ileus; surgery