Starch-Based Glove Powder Promotes Intra-Abdominal Tumor Growth – (10-08-01)

Starch-Based Glove Powder Promotes Intra-Abdominal Tumor Growth

Need I say more? Make sure that you ask your surgeon what kind of gloves he or she uses and insist that they use non-starch gloves. The best alternative, of course, would be to avoid surgery altogether…

Br J Surg 2001;88:1258-1263 Starch-based surgical glove powder appears to promote postoperative intra-abdominal adhesion formation and tumor cell adhesion and growth, according to animal study results reported in the British Journal of Surgery for September. “Despite the evidence in support of starch-induced complications, a considerable number of general surgeons continue to wear starch-powdered gloves,” Dr. J. Jeekel and colleagues from University Hospital Dijkzigt, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, note in their paper. The researchers performed laparotomy on female rats and exposed the uterine horns to powder from surgical gloves, pure starch or no powder. Either minimal or severe trauma to the peritoneal surface was inflicted in a standardized manner. Exposure to glove powder led to significantly more adhesion formation after minimal peritoneal trauma compared with no exposure, as did exposure to pure starch (p < 0.001), Dr. Jeekel’s group found. This was true even in the presence of severe peritoneal trauma. Tumor load at the uterine horns was significantly increased after exposure to glove powder or pure starch compared with no exposure (p < 0.001). “As good powder-free alternatives are available, there is no longer any justification for the use of powdered gloves during intraabdominal surgery,” Dr. Jeekel and colleagues conclude.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.