Bowel Preparation

  • F. Mosimann


Colorectal operations have been recognized for a long time as carrying a high risk of postoperative infection. In 1969 and 1973, for example, Everett et al. [15] and Burton [6] reported a wound infection rate of 58% and 61 %, respectively. Since then, the incidence of this complication has decreased sharply and now averages 5%–20% [12, 21, 23, 24]. However, these infections remain a cause of concern in our cost-containment environment, as they may prolong hospitalization by 5–20 days [5, 17]. The purpose of this chapter is therefore to review the factors in bowel preparation that improve postoperative infection scores, thus enabling the practicing surgeon to offer the best possible anti-infection prophylaxis to his or her patient. The following topics will be considered: nonspecific measures, mechanical bowel cleansing, and antibiotic prophylaxis.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

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  • F. Mosimann

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