HealthDay News — Mechanical and oral antibiotic bowel preparation (MOABP) does not reduce surgical site infections (SSIs) or the overall morbidity of colon surgery vs no bowel preparation (NBP), according to a study published online Aug. 8 in The Lancet.

Laura Koskenvuo, MD, from University of Helsinki, and colleagues randomly assigned (1:1) 396 patients undergoing colon resection to either MOABP or NBP in 4 hospitals in Finland (March 17, 2016, to Aug. 20, 2018). MOABP consisted of drinking 2 liters of polyethylene glycol and 1 liter of clear fluid before 6 p.m. on the day before surgery and taking 2 grams of neomycin orally at 7 p.m. and 2 grams of metronidazole orally at 11 p.m. the day before surgery.

The researchers found that SSIs were detected in 7% of 196 patients assigned to MOABP and in 11% of 200 patients assigned to NBP (odds ratio, 1.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.80 to 3.40; P = 0.17). Anastomotic dehiscence was reported in 4% of both groups. Reoperations were necessary in 8% of the MOABP group vs 7% of the NBP group. Within 30 days of surgery, 2 patients died in the NBP group vs none in the MOABP group.

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“We therefore propose that the current recommendations of using MOABP for colectomies to reduce SSIs or morbidity should be reconsidered,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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