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Indian J Surg. 2010 Jun;72(3):215-9. doi: 10.1007/s12262-010-0049-9. Epub 2010 Aug 26.

Clinically monitored delay-A valid option in cases with doubtful diagnosis of acute appendicitis.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal.



To evaluate the effect of delayed surgery after a period of observation in patients with doubtful diagnosis of acute appendicitis in the form of improvement in negative appendectomy rates and the incidence of complications.


One hundred twelve patients operated with the diagnosis of acute appendicitis between May 2008 to June 2009 were included in this retrospective study. They were divided into two groups based on timing of surgery after admission. These two groups were studied in respect to age, sex, Alvarado score at presentation, ultrasound findings, operative findings, histopathology and postoperative complications. Proportions of negative appendectomies, and complicated appendicitis were analysed statistically.


Group wise age and sex distribution was comparable. The mean Alvarado score in the group 1 was 7.9 (range, 6-10) where as in those operated later than 12 hours (group 2), it was 4.5 (range, 3-8). Normal appendectomies were significantly (p < 0.05) less in group 2 (1 out of 40) as compared to group 1 (4 out of 72). The number of complicated appendicitis were higher in group 1 (14/72) as compared to group 2 (4/40) but not significantly (p > 0.06). The number of postoperative complications was also high in group 1 (11 vs 2 in group 2).


It is better to wait in cases with doubtful initial diagnosis of appendicitis on admission in order to decrease negative appendectomy rates. These patients need to be continuously monitored clinically to prevent complications.


Appendicitis; Delayed surgery

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