Patel, M., Schimpf, M.O., O'Sullivan, D.M., & LaSala, C.A. (2010). The use of senna with docusate for postoperative constipation after pelvic reconstructive surgery: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 202, 479.e1–479.e5.doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.01.003
To compare the time of first bowel movement (BM) following pelvic reconstructive surgery in patients randomized to placebo or senna with docusate.
Patients were enrolled prior to surgery. After surgery, patients were randomized to either senna with docusate or placebo. Dosing was as follows.
Patients were undergoing the active treatment phase of care.
This was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.
The use of a stool softener with a laxative such as senna with docusate decreases the time to first BM following pelvic reconstructive surgery compared with placebo and lessens the need for use of magnesium citrate.
Nurses should be proactive in the management of patients' bowels following reconstructive surgery. Management with medications such as senna with docusate may be an option for patients following this form of surgery.