Colorectal surgery surgical site infection prevention practices in British Columbia

Can J Surg. 2021 Oct;64(5):E516-E520. doi: 10.1503/cjs.007220.


Surgical site infections (SSI) pose significant morbidity after colorectal surgery. We sought to document current practices in colorectal surgery SSI prevention in British Columbia (BC). Reporting the current provincial landscape on SSI prevention helps to understand the foundation upon which improvements can take place. We surveyed all BC surgeons performing elective colon and rectal resections, and 97 surveys were completed (60% response rate). Eighty-six per cent of respondent hospitals tracked SSI rates. The reported superficial SSI was less than 5% and the anastomotic leak/organ space rate was less than 10%. All respondents gave preoperative prophylactic antibiotics, with 24% continuing antibiotics postoperatively; 62% are using oral antibiotics (OAB) and mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) and 29% use MBP without OAB. Areas for improvement include OAB with MBP and discontinuing prophylactic antibiotics postoperatively, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

MeSH terms

  • Anastomotic Leak / prevention & control*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / statistics & numerical data*
  • British Columbia
  • Colon / surgery*
  • Colorectal Surgery / statistics & numerical data
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Elective Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Preoperative Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rectum / surgery*
  • Surgeons / statistics & numerical data
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents