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November 1982

Antibiotics and Colon Surgery

Arch Surg. 1982;117(11):1499. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1982.01380350085012

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To the Editor.—I write in response to Dr Condon's editorial (Archives 1982;117:265) on antibiotic usage in preparation for elective colon surgery.

In January 1981,I and my colleagues published in Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics our results in 100 consecutive colorectal cases in which only mechanical bowel preparation was used preoperatively. Parenteral antibiotics were used perioperatively. Our results compared most favorably with other published series and it is my opinion that some of the known sequelae resulting from change in the bacterial flora may have been avoided. It is my thesis that there is a tendency to rely on antibiotics to "cover" deficiencies in good surgical technique. The antibiotics used preoperatively are consistently changing as new and "better" ones reach the market and as bacterial resistance to each develops. Many surgeons are still aware of the patients in whom pseudomembranous colitis, prolonged diarrhea, and other complications that often accompany changes in

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