The Prophylactic use of Anti-Microbial Agents in the Surgery of the Intestine

  • Douglas Roy


The purpose of bowel preparation before surgery is first defined. In order to achieve the objectives of avoiding both tissue sepsis as a result of bacterial invasion from the intestine and interference with healing processes as a result of anti-bacterial therapy it is necessary to reduce the bacterial content of the intestine, and contamination of tissues, without damaging the defence mechanisms of the body.

Mechanical cleansing of the intestine is the first essential process, but may not be possible where partial or complete obstruction is present. Cleansing can be carried out both by reducing the residue of the diet and by washing out the contents of the intestine. Having achieved mechanical cleansing the merits and drawbacks of various anti-bacterial agents are then discussed, both in relation to pre-operative administration of drugs, active within the alimentary canal, and the prophylactic use of antibiotic powders and solutions at the time of operation. Finally, the systemic administration of antibiotics as a prophylactic measure after surgery is discussed.

It is emphasised that surgical technique is of fundamental importance in the prevention of subsequent infective complications.


British Journal Bowel Preparation Suture Line Povidone Iodine Alimentary Canal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aluwihare, A. P. R. (1971). Gut. 12. 341–349PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Browne, M. K. and Stoller, J, L. (1970). British Journal of Surgery. 57. 525–529PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cohn, I. (1964). Maryland Medical Journal. 13. 45–48Google Scholar
  4. Cohn, I. (1970). Surgery, Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 130. 1006–1014.Google Scholar
  5. Crosfil, M., Hall, R. and London, D. (1969). British Journal of Surgery. 56. 906–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Drasar, B. S. and Hill, M. J. (1974). Academic Press. London pp. 36–44Google Scholar
  7. Drasar, B. S., Shiner, M. and McLeod, G. M. (1969). Gastroenterology. 56. 71–79PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Drasar, B. S. and Shiner, M. (1969). Gut. 10. 812–819PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Evans, C., and Pollock, A. V. (1973). British Journal of Surgery. 60. 434–437PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Evans, C., Pollock, A. V. and Rosenberg, I. L. (1974). British Journal of Surgery. 61. 133–135PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Everitt, M. T., Brogan, T. D. and Nettleton, J. (1969). British Journal of Surgery. 56. 679–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Giannella, R. A., Broitman, S. A. and Zamchek, N. (1972). Gut. 13. 251–256PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gilmore, O. J. A, and Martin, T. D. M. (1974). British Journal of Surgery. 61. 281–287.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hancock, B. D. (1975). Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. 20. 134–137PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Hill, M. J., Drasar, B. S., Hawkesworth, G., Crowther, J. S., Aries, V. and Williams, R. E. O. (1971). Lancet 1. 95–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hill, M. J. and Drasar, B. S. (1975). Gut. 16. 318–323PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Keighley, M. R. B., Burdon, D. W., Slaney, G., Cooke, W. T. and Alexander-Williams, J. (1975). Gut. 16. 408PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Leigh, D. A. (1975). British Journal of Surgery. 62. 375–378.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Leigh, D. A., Simmons, K. and Norman, E. (1974). Journal of Clinical Pathology. 27. 997–1000PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McNaught, W. (1975). Personal Communication.Google Scholar
  21. Pickard, R. G. (1972). British Journal of Surgery. 59. 642–648PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Polk, H. C. and Lopez-Major, J. E. (1969). Surgery. 66. 97–103PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Tolhurst Cleaver, C. L., Hopkins, A. D., Kae Kwong, K. C. and Ng Rafteng, A. T. (1974). British Journal of Surgery. 61. 601–604PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wambwa, J.R. (1974). East African Journal of Medical Research. 1. 265–272Google Scholar
  25. Willis, A. T. (1974). Lancet. 2. 1540–1543Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas Roy
    • 1
  1. 1.The Queen’s University of BelfastUK

Personalised recommendations