Current guidelines do not recommend antibiotic prophylaxis in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Despite this, there is wide variation in antibiotic prophylaxis during cholecystectomy in population-based studies. The aim of this survey was to establish the current rationale for antibiotic prophylaxis in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy.METHODS
A short questionnaire was designed and disseminated across collaborators for a population-based study investigating outcomes following cholecystectomy and via the Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons, Researchgate and Surginet membership.RESULTS
Responses were received from 234 people; 50.9% had no written policy for the use of prophylactic antibiotics in elective cholecystectomy; 5.6% never used antibiotics, while 30.8% always did and 63.7% selectively used antibiotics. Contamination with bile, stones and pus were scenarios in which antibiotics were most commonly used in selective practices to reduce infective complications. Interestingly, 87% of respondents would be happy to participate in a trial investigating the effectiveness of antibiotics in elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy where contamination has occurred.CONCLUSIONS
The disparity between current practice and guidelines appears to arise because of a lack of evidence to show that antibiotics reduce surgical site infection following elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy where contamination has occurred. This question needs to addressed before practice will change.