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Review: mechanical bowel preparation before colorectal surgery does not provide any benefit and may be harmful

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Does mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) before colorectal surgery provide any benefit?

Review scope

Included studies compared MBP with no MBP before elective colorectal surgery for malignant or benign conditions. Outcomes included anastomotic leakage, pelvic or abdominal abscess, and surgical site infection.

Review methods

Medline, Scopus, and Cochrane Library (to Jan 2008); recent issues of major surgical journals; proceedings of major meetings; and reference lists were searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs). 14 RCTs (n = 4859) met the selection criteria. All but 1 trial enrolled only adults.

Main results

Groups did not differ for anastomotic …

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  • Source of funding no external funding.