Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 12, Issue 12, pp 2103–2109 | Cite as

Single-blinded Randomized Trial of Mechanical Bowel Preparation for Colon Surgery with Primary Intraperitoneal Anastomosis

  • María Jesús Pena-Soria
  • Julio M. Mayol
  • Rocio Anula
  • Ana Arbeo-Escolar
  • Jesús A. Fernandez-Represa
2008 ssat plenary presentation



We report the final analysis of a prospective single-blinded randomized trial designed to investigate whether omission of preoperative mechanical bowel preparation increases the rate of surgical-site infection and anastomotic failure after elective colon surgery with intraperitoneal anastomosis by a single surgeon.

Patients and Methods

Patients scheduled to undergo an elective colon or proximal rectal resection with a primary anastomosis by a single surgeon were randomized to receive either oral polyethylene glycol (Group A) or no mechanical bowel preparation (Group B). Patients were followed by an independent surgeon.


One hundred and forty nine patients were enrolled. Three patients (2%) were preoperatively excluded because of active immunosuppression and 13 (9%) were excluded from the final analysis. Of the remaining 129 patients, 65 were assigned to Group A and 64 to Group B. Thirty patients (23.2%) developed wound infection, (Group A = 24.6% and Group B = 17.2%; NS). There were three cases of intra-abdominal sepsis a (Group A 4.6%). The anastomotic failure rate was 5.4% (n = 7), four patients in Group A (6.2%) vs. three patients in Group B (4.7%) (NS). When SSI and anastomotic failure were combined, the complication rate in Group A was 35.4% vs. 21.9% for Group B. The NNH was 7.4.


Our final analysis shows that a single surgeon will not have a higher rate of either surgical-site infection or anastomotic failure if he/she routinely omits preoperative mechanical bowel preparation.


Colon Surgery Mechanical bowel preparation Randomized trial Single-blinded Complications 



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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Jesús Pena-Soria
    • 1
  • Julio M. Mayol
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rocio Anula
    • 1
  • Ana Arbeo-Escolar
    • 1
  • Jesús A. Fernandez-Represa
    • 1
  1. 1.Servicio de Cirugía I, Hospital Clínico San CarlosUniversidad Complutense de Madrid Medical SchoolMadridSpain
  2. 2.Surgical Oncology and Colorectal Surgery Units, Servicio de Cirugía IHospital Clínico San CarlosMadridSpain

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