Antibiotic prophylaxis and open groin hernia repair

World J Surg. 1997 Oct;21(8):811-4; discussion 814-5. doi: 10.1007/s002689900311.


Antibiotic prophylaxis is not routinely given for nonimplant, clean operations, although this view has recently been challenged. We have conducted a randomized multicenter, double-blind prospective trial to compare co-amoxiclav with placebo in 619 patients undergoing open groin hernia repair. Altogether 563 (91%) patients fulfilled the protocol; 283 received co-amoxiclav and 280 placebo. There was no difference between the groups in the number of patients receiving local or general anesthetic, the type of repair performed, the use of a subcutaneous fat suture, the type of skin closure used, the use of wound analgesia, or the use of a wound drain. Patients were given a card to return to the hospital in the event of their wound discharging or their needing to see their general practitioner. All patients were reviewed at approximately 6 weeks after operation. Fifty (8.9%) patients sustained a wound infection, 25 in the co-amoxiclav group and 25 in the placebo group. We conclude that antibiotic prophylaxis is of no benefit to patients undergoing open groin hernia repair.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination / therapeutic use*
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*


  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination