The New Frontier: the Intestinal Microbiome and Surgery

J Gastrointest Surg. 2018 Jul;22(7):1277-1285. doi: 10.1007/s11605-018-3744-7. Epub 2018 Apr 9.


The microbiome exerts a remarkable effect on human physiology. The study of the human-microbiome relationship is a burgeoning field with great potential to improve our understanding of health and disease. In this review, we address common surgical problems influenced by the human microbiome and explore what is thus far known about this relationship. These include inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal neoplasms, and diverticular disease. We will also discuss the effect of the microbiome on surgical complications, specifically anastomotic leak. We hope that further research in this field will enlighten our management of these and other surgical problems.

Keywords: Anastomotic leak; Colorectal neoplasms; Diverticular diseases; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anastomotic Leak / microbiology*
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Microbiota / physiology*