Laparoscopic Appendectomy in Children: Technically Feasible and Safe in All Stages of Acute Appendicitis

Vegunta, Ravindra K.; Ali, Alya; Wallace, Lizabeth J.; Switzer, Diane M.; Pearl, Richard H.
March 2004
American Surgeon;Mar2004, Vol. 70 Issue 3, p198
Academic Journal
This is a retrospective outcomes analysis of pediatric open and laparoscopic appendectomy in a children's hospital. One hundred three children underwent appendectomy for appendicitis by two pediatric surgeons from August 1998 to December 2002. Patients were divided into two groups, laparoscopic appendectomy (LAP) and open appendectomy (OAP), and were further subdivided by diagnosis: normal (NL), acute (AA), and ruptured (RA). There were no differences in age, sex, race, or zip codes between groups. Median age was 10 years. In the acute phase, 28 patients underwent OAP and 65 underwent LAP whereas 10 patients underwent interval appendectomy (IA) 6 weeks after percutaneous drainage of established abscesses (eight were LAP vs two OAP). In the remaining patients, the appendix was normal in 17 (18.4%) and ruptured in 24 (25.8%) pathologically. LAP took longer to perform (57 minutes vs 34.5 minutes) at higher cost ($3718 vs $1858) than OAP. Overall complications were lower in the LAP group (17% vs 29%), and LAP for RA had significantly fewer total complications (25% vs 62.5%). Intra-abdominal abscess increased following LAP: 9.2 per cent versus 3.6 per cent. Length of stay was shorter for LAP versus OAP in both AA (2.0 vs 2.5 days) and RA (5.5 vs 7 days).


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