Summary— One hundred patients were prospectively randomised into two groups to receive either a single dose of 1 g ampicillin and 80 mg gentamicin pre-operatively or no antibiotic prophylaxis. The incidence of breakage in the continuity of the closed drainage system was documented. All patients with urinary tract infection (UTI), catheterisation, clinical prostatic carcinoma, neurogenic bladder and bladder tumours were excluded. UTls, bacteraemia and fever were noted. There were 7 late exclusions. The incidence of UTI in the control and antibiotic groups was 16 and 17% respectively. No blood cultures were positive. There were no significant differences in the incidence of fever between the two groups.
A break in the closed drainage system occurred in 13 patients. Fifteen of the 93 developed UTI. A break in the closed drainage system occurred in 7 of the 15 patients (40%) with UTI. Of the 78 patients without UTI, 8 had a break (10%). This difference was highly significant.
We recommend that less emphasis be placed on prophylactic antibiotics and more on avoiding breakage of the closed system in the prevention of UTI after transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) in the low risk situation.