A prospective randomized study of prophylactic antibiotics in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy

  • M. Koc
  • B. Zulfikaroglu
  • C. Kece
  • N. Ozalp
Original article


Background: Elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) has a low risk for infective complications, but many surgeons still use prophylactic antibiotics. The use of prophylactic antibiotics for LC is inconsistent and varies widely among surgeons. Methods: We performed a prospective double-blind randomized study of prophylactic antibiotics in elective LC. Antibiotics were was given first before the operation and then again 24 h afterward. Group A (n = 49) received 2 g of cefotaxime; group B (n = 43) received 10 ml of isotonic sodium chloride solution. A sample of bile was withdrawn by direct gallbladder puncture for anaerobic and aerobic cultures. Age, sex, weight, duration of surgery (DOS), presence of diabetes mellitus, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification, gallbladder rupture, bile and/or stone spillage, gallbladder histological findings, findings from bile cultures positive for bacteria, episodes of colic within 30 days before surgery, length of stay (LOS), and number of septic complications were recorded for both groups. Results: There was no differences between the two groups in terms of sex, weight, DOS, ASA score, gallbladder rupture, bile and/or stone spillage, gallbladder histological findings, findings from bile cultures positive for bacteria, or LOS. One infection occurred in the antibiotic prophylaxis group (2.04%); in the patients not receiving antibiotics, there was one other infection (2.32%). There was no statistical difference between the two groups in infective complications. Conclusion: In patients undergoing elective LC, antibiotic prophylaxis is justified only in high-risk patients. In all other patients, antibiotic prophylaxis does not seem to affect the incidence of postoperative infective complications. In low-risk patients, eliminating the unnecessary use of prophylactic antibiotics would result in a cost reduction; moreover, it would lower the risk of adverse reaction and reduce microbial resistance.


Cholecystectomy Laparoscopy Prophylactic antibiotics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryAnkara Numune Teaching and Research Hospital, Talatpasa Blvd., 06100 Ankara, Turkey

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