Optimizing working-space in laparoscopy: Measuring the effect of mechanical bowel preparation in a porcine model

John Vlot*, Juliette C. Slieker, René Wijnen, Johan F. Lange, Klaas M.A. Bax

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)



Adequate working space is a prerequisite for safe and efficient minimal access surgery. No objective data exist in literature about the effect of mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) on working space in laparoscopic surgery. We objectively measured this effect with computed tomography in a porcine laparoscopy model. 


Using standardized anesthesia, twelve 20-kg pigs without MBP and eight 20-kg pigs with MBP were studied with computed tomography at intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) levels of 0, 5, 10, and 15 mmHg. Volumes and dimensions of the pneumoperitoneum were measured on reconstructed CT images and compared between the pigs with and those without MBP.


A reproducible and statistically significant increase of approximately 500 ml in pneumoperitoneum volume was found in the MBP group at all levels of IAP. This represents a 43 % relative increase at a pneumoperitoneum pressure of 5 mmHg, 21 % at IAP 10 mmHg, and 18 % at IAP 15 mmHg. Peak inspiratory pressure was lower at IAP 0 and 5 mmHg in the MBP group. Anteroposterior diameter in the group with MBP was lower at 0 mmHg, but abdominal dimensions were similar in both groups at all other IAPs. This shows that the gain in working space is due to a diminished volume of the intra-abdominal content and not to compression or displacement of the bowel. 


MBP increases working space by reducing bowel content. Especially at low intra-abdominal working pressures, the increase in working space associated with MBP could represent an important benefit in challenging laparoscopic surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1980-1985
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2013


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