November 1958

The Management of Bowel Evacuation in Surgical Patients*

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;77(5):824-832. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01290040172022

Introduction  Many patients who undergo anorectal operations require an agent that will promote the smooth passage of stool of normal or near-normal bulk at the first postoperative bowel action. Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate U. S. P. (Colace) has proved to be a safe agent for this purpose, after surgical procedures for pilonidal disease, and in colostomized patients after abdominoperineal resection of the rectum. This compound is also receiving a trial after resection and anastomosis of the colon and following electrocoagulation of adenomas. In my practice, following the performance of anorectal operations, use of dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate is now standard procedure in place of conventional liquid petrolatum, which has been almost completely superseded. A stimulant-laxative (pericolace) is required in addition to dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate for some patients, mostly elderly persons, as well as for the preponderance of those patients who are habituated to cathartics. Occasionally a flushing saline enema with or without

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