Friday, June 05, 2009

Honey Effective in Preventing Postoperative Adhesions

Comparison of Intraperitoneal Honey and Sodium Hyaluronate-Carboxymethylcellulose (SeprafilmTM) for the Prevention of Postoperative Intra-Abdominal Adhesions
Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2009 Aug;64(4):363-8.

BACKGROUND: Abdominal surgery can lead to postoperative intra-abdominal adhesions (PIAAs) with significant morbidity and mortality. This study compares the use of honey with a standard bioresorbable membrane (Seprafilm tm) to prevent the formation of PIAAs in rats…

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that both honey and Seprafilm tm decrease the incidence of PIAAs in the rat cecal abrasion model. Although the mechanism of action is not clear, intraperitoneal administration of honey reduced PIAAs. The outcome of this study demonstrates that honey is as effective as Seprafilm tm in preventing PIAAs…

Natural honey has been used to treat burns and decubitis wounds since ancient times. Honey is becoming increasingly popular as a modern wound-dressing material, and studies have been published demonstrating its effectiveness. When honey is applied to wounds, it has been found to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain, eliminating the need for surgical removal, and induces a rapid clearance of infections. In the literature, it has been reported that honey carries no toxic effects. Honey is also considered sterile and inhibits the growth of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It has antifungal, cytostatic, anti-inflammatory, antitumoral and antimetastatic effects and promotes wound healing.8,19 However, studies regarding its effects on preventing PIAAs are limited.

The mechanisms underlying the effects of honey on wound healing are not entirely clear. However, several different characteristics of honey may have effects on various steps of the wound-healing process. Aysan, et al. suggested that one or more of the ingredients of honey, including cafeic acid, benzoic acid, phenolic acid, flavanoid glycons, inhibin and catalase, may be responsible for its effect. Inhibin and catalase have also been shown to promote the proliferation of epithelial cells. Another possible mechanism by which honey can promote wound healing is by increasing fibroblastic activity. Honey is hygroscopic, hypertonic and has a low pH. Hygroscopic substances decrease edema and constitute a fluid barrier to inhibit deepening of the wound. Hypertonicity contributes to antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thus, a hypertonic environment with a low pH and low moisture may promote the wound-healing process by degrading native collagen within the wound.

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