Is mechanical bowel preparation necessary in patients undergoing cystectomy and urinary diversion?


D.P. Hickey, Department of Urology & Transplantation, Beaumont Hospital, Beaumont Road, Dublin 9, Republic of Ireland.


Objective To compare the surgical outcome in patients with or with no bowel preparation before cystectomy and ileal conduit urinary diversion, specifically assessing local and systemic complications.

Patients and methods All patients undergoing cystectomy and ileal conduit urinary diversion between January 1991 and December 1999 were assessed retrospectively. Twenty-two receive no bowel preparation (group 1) and were compared with 64 who had (group 2). Patients had similar demographic characteristics, stage and grade of tumour. Patients in group 2 received a standard 4-day bowel preparation and group 1 received no lavage or enemas. All patients underwent a standard iliac and obturator lymph node dissection, and cystoprostatectomy or anterior exenteration and ileal conduit urinary diversion. All patients received intraoperative metronidazole and gentamicin intravenously, and two further doses after surgery.

Results Deaths after surgery were comparable in the two groups (two in group 1 and four in group 2) and the incidence of wound infection was similar (three and seven, respectively). There were no significant differences between the respective groups for fistula and anastomotic dehiscence (two and six) or sepsis (three and six). Group 2 had a higher incidence of wound dehiscence (one) than in group 1 (none). The incidence of prolonged postoperative ileus was lower in group 1 (one vs 12), as was the length of hospital stay (31.6 days vs 22.8 days).

Conclusions Bowel preparation had no advantage for the surgical outcome but it increased the length of hospital stay.