Do oral antibiotics reduce SSI risk after left-sided colorectal cancer surgery?

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A study, published in JAMA Surgery, investigates whether adding oral antibiotics to mechanical bowel preparation decreases the risk of surgical site infections after left-sided colorectal cancer surgery.

Researchers conducted a retrospective review of 89 patients undergoing left colon and rectal cancer resections from Oct. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2016, at a single institution.

On Aug. 1, 2015, clinicians implemented a bowel regimen of oral antibiotics and mechanical bowel preparation. Researchers compared 40 patients undergoing mechanical bowel preparation with oral antibiotics and 49 patients undergoing the prep without oral antibiotics.

The study shows that overall SSI rate was lower for patients who received oral antibiotics along with mechanical bowel preparation (8 percent) than for patients who received mechanical bowel preparation (27 percent).

Patients who received oral antibiotics did not suffer deep or organ space SSIs or anastomotic leaks.Those who received only mechanical bowel preparation, experienced nine organ space SSIs and five anastomotic leaks.

Researchers found no difference in median days to adjuvant therapy between the two cohorts.

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