Does mechanical bowel preparation ameliorate damage from rectal injury in radical prostatectomy? Analysis of 151 rectal injury cases

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To evaluate whether mechanical bowel preparation before radical prostatectomy ameliorates damage from rectal injury in radical prostatectomy.


Among 35 099 radical prostatectomy cases in the Japanese Diagnosis Procedure Combination database 2007–2012, those where a rectal injury occurred were stratified into a preoperative mechanical bowel preparation group (polyethylene glycol electrolyte, magnesium citrate solution and sodium picosulfate) and a non-mechanical bowel preparation group. The associations between mechanical bowel preparation and rectal injury were evaluated by multivariate regression analysis for: (i) subsequent infectious complications; (ii) requirement of delayed colostomy formation after primary closure; (iii) postoperative length of stay; and (iv) total costs. Covariates were age, surgical approach, Charlson Comorbidity Index, T and N category, hospital volume, hospital academic status, and colostomy formation.


Overall, 151 rectal injury cases (0.43%) were identified. Of those, 73 patients (48%) received mechanical bowel preparation. Multivariate analyses showed that all four outcomes were not statistically different between mechanical bowel preparation and non-mechanical bowel preparation groups (infectious complication rate: 12% vs 10%, P = 0.80; delayed colostomy rate: 21% vs 31%, P = 0.34; length of stay: 28 vs 30 days, P = 0.84; and total costs: $24 665 vs $23 837, P = 0.81).


Our analysis did not detect a beneficial impact of mechanical bowel preparation on perioperative morbidity associated with rectal injury during radical prostatectomy. This finding suggests that mechanical bowel preparation might be safely omitted before radical prostatectomy.

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