Complicated appendicitis--is the laparoscopic approach appropriate? A comparative study with the open approach: outcome in a community hospital setting.


Journal Article

Good outcome has been reported with the laparoscopic approach in uncomplicated appendicitis, but a higher incidence of postoperative intraabdominal abscesses has been reported after laparoscopic appendectomy in complicated appendicitis. This retrospective comparative study compares outcome after laparoscopic (LA) and open appendectomy (OA) in complicated appendicitis. All patients who had LA or OA for complicated appendicitis between January 2003 and February 2006 were included in the study. Data collection included demographics, operative time, estimated blood loss, length of stay (LOS), complications, readmission, and reoperative rates. The primary end points for analysis were postoperative intraabdominal abscess and complication rates and secondary end points were LOS and operative time. All data were analyzed on an intent-to-treat basis. Of 104 patients, 43 patients underwent LA and 61 had OA. The mean age (24.8 +/- 16.5 versus 31.3 +/- 18.9, P = 0.08) in the LA group was lower than the OA group because there was a significantly higher proportion of pediatric patients (34.8% versus 14.8%, P = 0.02) who had LA. There was no significant difference in gender (female/male, 14/29 versus 27/34, P = 0.3) or American Society of Anesthesiologists class distribution (American Society of Anesthesiologists 1/2/3/4/, 35/7/1/0 versus 45/12/3/1, P = 0.68) between the two groups. The operative time (100.5 +/- 36.2 versus 81.5 +/- 29.5 minutes, P = 0.03) was significantly longer and the estimated blood loss (21 mL versus 33 mL, P = 0.01) was lower in LA when compared with OA, but there was no significant difference in the number of patients with preoperative peritonitis versus abscesses (7/36 versus 13/48, P = 0.6) in both groups. There was no difference in the median LOS (6 [interquartile range 5-9] versus 6 [interquartile range 4-8], P = 0.7) in the two groups. The conversion rate in LA was 18.6% (n = 8). There was also no significant difference in the complication (17/43 [39.5%] versus 21/61 [34.4%], P = 0.54), reoperative (3/43 [7%] versus 0/61 [0%], P = 0.07), and 30-day readmission (5/41 [11.6%] versus 3/61 [4.9%], P = 0.23) rates between the two groups. The rate of postoperative intraabdominal abscesses was significantly higher in the LA group when compared with the OA group (6/43 [14%] versus 0/61 [0%], P = 0.04) and the wound infection (1/43 [2.3%] versus 5/61 [8.2%], P = 0.4) and pulmonary complication (0/43 [0%] versus 3/61 [4.9%], P = 0.26) rate was higher in the OA group. There was no mortality in the LA group, but there was one mortality in the OA group resulting from postoperative myocardial infarction. Laparoscopic appendectomy can be performed in patients with complicated appendicitis with a comparative operative time, LOS, and complication rates but results in a significantly higher intraabdominal abscess rate and lower wound infection rate when compared with OA.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pokala, N; Sadhasivam, S; Kiran, RP; Parithivel, V

Published Date

  • August 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 73 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 737 - 741

PubMed ID

  • 17879676

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17879676

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-1348


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States