Article Abstract

Understanding the role of mechanical bowel preparation and oral antibiotics prior to elective colorectal surgery

Authors: James Wei Tatt Toh, Joris Harlaar, Angelina Di Re, Nimalan Pathmanathan, Toufic El Khoury, Grahame Ctercteko


Over the past four decades, there has been significant debate as to whether mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) and oral antibiotics (OAB) should be prescribed preoperatively prior to elective colorectal surgery. With the widespread implementation of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols as well as the findings of the Cochrane review in 2011 (n=5,805) concluding that MBP did not provide any statistically significant benefit (1), there was a paradigm shift away from mechanical bowel preparation.