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ARTICLE |

A New Oral Lavage Solution vs Cathartics and Enema Method for Preoperative Colonic Cleansing

Lt Col David E. Beck, MC, USAF; Jack A. DiPalma, MD
Arch Surg. 1991;126(5):552-555. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1991.01410290024003.
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• Sulfate free–electrolyte lavage solution is a new osmotically balanced electrolyte gut lavage solution for colon surgery that has been formulated for improved taste and reduced water and electrolyte changes. Sixty patients were prospectively randomized to receive a 1-day preparation with sulfate free–electrolyte lavage solution or a 3-day preparation using a clear liquid diet, cathartics, and enemas. The patient groups were similar in age, race, male-female ratio, and the types of colonic resections performed. Colonic cleansing was better with sulfate free–electrolyte lavage solution (100% vs 63% "good" to "excellent" cleansing). Patient tolerance evaluated by a questionnaire showed more overall discomfort with sulfate free–electrolyte lavage solution but no difference between the preparations in individual symptoms of fullness, cramping, nausea, or vomiting. One patient developed a low level of serum potassium after a cathartic and enema preparation, while there were no complications with sulfate free–electrolyte lavage solution. Patient taste questionnaires showed a slight preference for sulfate free–electrolyte lavage solution (53%) over a polyethylene glycol electrolyte lavage solution (47%). This study confirms that sulfate free–electrolyte lavage solution is a safe and effective method of preoperative colonic cleansing.

(Arch Surg. 1991;126:552-555)

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