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1.  Preoperative mechanical preparation of the colon: the patient's experience 
BMC Surgery  2007;7:5.
Background
Preoperative mechanical bowel preparation can be questioned as standard procedure in colon surgery, based on the result from several randomised trials.
Methods
As part of a large multicenter trial, 105 patients planned for elective colon surgery for cancer, adenoma, or diverticulitis in three hospitals were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding perceived health including experience with bowel preparation. There were 39 questions, each having 3 – 10 answer alternatives, dealing with food intake, pain, discomfort, nausea/vomiting, gas distension, anxiety, tiredness, need of assistance with bowel preparation, and willingness to undergo the procedure again if necessary.
Results
60 patients received mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) and 45 patients did not (No-MBP). In the MBP group 52% needed assistance with bowel preparation and 30% would consider undergoing the same preoperative procedure again. In the No-MBP group 65 % of the patients were positive to no bowel preparation. There was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to postoperative pain and nausea. On Day 4 (but not on Days 1 and 7 postoperatively) patients in the No-MBP group perceived more discomfort than patients in the MBP group, p = 0.02. Time to intake of fluid and solid food did not differ between the two groups. Bowel emptying occurred significantly earlier in the No-MBP group than in the MBP group, p = 0.03.
Conclusion
Mechanical bowel preparation is distressing for the patient and associated with a prolonged time to first bowel emptying.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-7-5
PMCID: PMC1884131  PMID: 17480223
2.  Non-randomised patients in a cholecystectomy trial: characteristics, procedures, and outcomes 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:17.
Background
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is now considered the first option for gallbladder surgery. However, 20% to 30% of cholecystectomies are completed as open operations often on elderly and fragile patients. The external validity of randomised trials comparing mini-laparotomy cholecystectomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy has not been studied. The aim of this study is to analyse characteristics, procedures, and outcomes for all patients who underwent cholecystectomy without being included in such a trial.
Methods
Characteristics (age, sex, co-morbidity, and ASA-score), operation time, hospital stay, and mortality were compared for patients who underwent cholecystectomy outside and within a randomised controlled trial comparing mini-laparotomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Results
During the inclusion period 1719 patients underwent cholecystectomy. 726 patients were randomised and 724 of them completed the trial; 993 patients underwent cholecystectomy outside the trial. The non-randomised patients were older – and had more complications from gallstone disease, higher co-morbidity, and higher ASA – score when compared with trial patients. They were also more likely to undergo acute surgery and they had a longer postoperative hospital stay, with a median 3 versus 2 days (p < 0.001 for all comparisons). Standardised mortality ratio within 90 days of operation was 3.42 (mean) (95% CI 2.17 to 5.13) for non-randomised patients and 1.61 (mean) (95%CI 0.02 to 3.46) for trial patients. For non-randomised patients, operation time did not differ significantly between mini-laparotomy and open cholecystectomy in multivariate analysis. However, the operation for laparoscopic cholecystectomy lasted 20 minutes longer than open cholecystectomy. Hospital stay was significantly shorter for both mini-laparotomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy compared to open cholecystectomy.
Conclusion
Non-randomised patients were older and more sick than trial patients. The assignment of healthier patients to trials comparing mini-laparotomy cholecystectomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy limits the external validity of conclusions reached in such trials.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-6-17
PMCID: PMC1769514  PMID: 17190587
3.  Open cholecystectomy for all patients in the era of laparoscopic surgery – a prospective cohort study 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:5.
Background
Open cholecystectomy through a small incision is an alternative to laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Methods
From 1 January 2002 through 31 December 2003, all operations upon the gallbladder in a district hospital with emergency admission and responsibility for surgical training were done as intended small-incision open cholecystectomy.
Results
182 women and 90 men with a median age of 56 (interquartile range 45 to 68 years) underwent cholecystectomy for symptomatic gallbladder disease, 170 as elective and 102 as emergency cases. Trainee surgeons assisted by consultants or registrars having passed an examination for open cholecystectomy performed surgery in 194 cases (71%). The common bile duct was explored in 52 patients. Total postoperative morbidity was six percent. Median postoperative stay was one day and mean total (pre- and postoperative) hospital stay 3.1 days. 32 operations (12%) were done as day surgery procedures. Nationally in Sweden in 2002, mean total hospital stay was 4.4 days, and 13% of all cholecystectomies were performed on an outpatient basis.
Conclusion
Open, small-incision cholecystectomy for all patients is compatible with short hospital stay, evidence-based gall-bladder surgery, and training of surgical residents.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-6-5
PMCID: PMC1450318  PMID: 16584556

Results 1-3 (3)