Does Mechanical Bowel Preparation Ameliorate Surgical Performance in Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion?

Study Design:

Retrospective case-control study.


To investigate whether mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) improve surgical performance and decrease operative complications in anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF).


This study involved a retrospective analysis of 48 consecutive patients who underwent ALIF with MBP and a control cohort of 50 consecutive patients who underwent the same surgeries without MBP. The quality of each surgical procedure, operative time, estimated blood loss (EBL), intraoperative complications, changes in vital signs and patient symptoms on the day of surgery, and bowel function postoperatively were also compared between the procedures.


Baseline demographic characteristics were similar between the 2 groups (all Ps > .05). The quality of each procedure, operative time, EBL, intraoperative complications, and changes in body temperature and heart rate were not different between the groups (all Ps > .05). The MBP group showed more headache, tiredness, thirst, and abdominal discomfort (all Ps < .001) and decrease of the systolic blood pressure (P = .041) on the day of surgery. The return of bowel movement was not different between the groups (P = .278).


Given the similar surgical result with the substantial patient discomfort, MBP can be omitted in ALIF.

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