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Minerva Chirurgica 2000 September;55(9):599-606

language: Italian

Antibiotic prophylaxis in the surgical treatment of inguinal hernia: need or habit?

Barreca M., Stipa F., Cardi E., Bianchini L., Lucandri G., Randone B.


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Background. Prophylactic antibiotics are recommended for clean-contaminated and selected contaminated surgery. In clean surgery antibiotics are suggested if the operation involves the insertion of prosthetic devices and a potential infection is expected to cause serious morbidity or mortality. Inguinal hernia repair is a clean operation, infections are rare; they can usually be cured without removing the prosthesis and recurrence is uncommon even after removal of the mesh. Aim of the study is to evaluate whether the lack of antimicrobial prophylaxis increases the risk of postoperative infections in patients treated for groin hernia, compared to those treated with prophylaxis.
Methods. One hundred and forty-eight patients underwent inguinal hernia repair with mesh: 64 patients (43%) received 2 g cefotaxime by intravenous bolus about 30 minutes before the operation, 84 patients (57%) did not receive any antimicrobic prophylaxis. Mean follow-up was 13 months (range 1-31 months) for both groups.
Results. We did not observe any major complication. Among both groups, no patient had developed infection at one week and one month after surgery.
Conclusions. In personal experience, any advantage in terms of prevention of infections with antibiotic prophylaxis in patients operated on for groin hernia has been observed. A review of the literature showed no general agreement on this subject with different risk of infections in different trials. A new prospective randomized trial is necessary to clarify this topic.

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