Perioperative bowel habits of women undergoing gynecologic surgery: A pilot study

Megan E. Tarr, Violet Klenov, Margaret E. Tanzy, Colleen L. Rivard, Margaret M. McElhinney, Linda Brubaker, Elizabeth R. Mueller, Mary P. FitzGerald, Kimberly Kenton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe perioperative bowel habits of women undergoing gynecologic surgery. Methods: This prospective cohort study included women undergoing gynecologic surgery. Before surgery, participants completed the Bristol Stool Form Scale (BSFS), a validated instrument describing stool characteristics consistent with transit categories: slow (BSFS 1-2), normal (BSFS 3-5), and fast (BSFS 6-7). For 2 weeks after surgery, the participants recorded daily medications and bowel movements (BM), and completed BSFS. The χ2 test, the Fisher exact test, analysis of variance, t tests, and ordinal regression were used. Results: Preoperatively, most (70%) of 340 women had normal stool transit, with 15% having slow transit and 7% having fast transit. Complete postoperative data were available for 170 (50%). Mean T SD time to first postoperative BM was 2.8 T 1.4 days with transit classification: 48% normal, 32% slow, and 20% fast. Conclusions: Most women had normal stool transit both preoperatively and postoperatively. Time to first BM was longer after open surgery by approximately 3 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalFemale Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Bristol Stool Scale
  • Gynecologic surgery


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