Background: Mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) has been shown to have no influence on the incidence of anastomotic leakage in overall colorectal surgery. The role of MBP in elective surgery in combination with an inflammatory component such as diverticulitis is yet unclear. This study evaluates the effects of MBP on anastomotic leakage and other septic complications in 190 patients who underwent elective surgery for colonic diverticulitis. Methods: A subgroup analysis was performed in a prior multicenter (13 hospitals) randomized trial comparing clinical outcome of MBP versus no MBP in elective colorectal surgery. Primary endpoint was the occurrence of anastomotic leakage in patients operated on for diverticulitis, and secondary endpoints were septic complications and mortality. Results: Out of a total of 1,354 patients, 190 underwent elective colorectal surgery (resection with primary anastomosis) for (recurrent or stenotic) diverticulitis. One hundred and three patients underwent MBP prior to surgery and 87 did not. Anastomotic leakage occurred in 7.8 % of patients treated with MBP and in 5.7 % of patients not treated with MBP (p = 0.79). There were no significant differences between the groups in septic complications and mortality. Conclusion: Mechanical bowel preparation has no influence on the incidence of anastomotic leakage, or other septic complications, and may be safely omitted in case of elective colorectal surgery for diverticulitis.

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Surgery and Traumatology
Techniques in Coloproctology
Department of Surgery

van 't Sant, H. P., Slieker, J., Hop, W., Weidema, W., Lange, J., Vermeulen, J., & Contant, C. M. E. (2012). The influence of Mechanical bowel preparation in elective colorectal surgery for diverticulitis. Techniques in Coloproctology, 16(4), 309–314. doi:10.1007/s10151-012-0852-3