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Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Apr;24(4):609-19.

Current practices of preoperative bowel preparation among North American colorectal surgeons.

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Department of Surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112-2699, USA.


In North America, the rate of infections following colorectal surgery decreased after the introduction of oral antibiotic bowel preparation against colonic microflora. Eight hundred eight board-certified colorectal surgeons were surveyed for their current bowel preparation practices before elective procedures. The 471 responders (58%) all use mechanical preparation: oral polyethylene glycol solution (70.9% of the respondents), oral sodium phosphate solution with or without bisacodyl (28.4%), and "traditional" methods of dietary restriction, cathartics, and enemas (28.4%). Most surgeons (86.5%) add oral and parenteral antibiotics to the regimen; 11.5% add only parenteral antibiotics, 1.1% add only oral antibiotics, and 0.9% add no antibiotics. Generally (77.8% of cases), oral neomycin and erythromycin or metronidazole are combined with a perioperative parenteral antibiotic. Most individuals start the preparation as outpatients the day before surgery, and the parenteral drugs are added to the regimen 1-2 hours before the procedure. The use of outpatient bowel preparation is increasing; however, patient selection is critical, and education is needed to reduce the rate of complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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