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Surgery. 2000 Feb;127(2):136-41.

Gangrenous and perforated appendicitis: a meta-analytic study of 2532 patients indicates that the incision should be closed primarily.

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Department of Surgery, New York Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York 11215, USA.



Surgical incisions after appendectomy for complicated (gangrenous or perforated) acute appendicitis are often managed with delayed closure (DC) rather than primary closure (PC). This study synthesizes the results of other studies in the surgical literature and supports the routine use of PC.


Studies dealing with complicated appendicitis were reviewed to assess the results of PC in comparison with DC. The rate of incision (wound) infection in groups of patients managed by PC and DC were compared with the use of a statistical technique that defined the probability of expected results by incorporating data derived from all of the various study groups.


Of the 2532 patients who had been treated for complicated appendicitis and who were assessed, 1724 patients underwent PC and 808 patients underwent DC. The rate of incision infection was 4.7% and 4.6% in the PC and DC groups, respectively. With a 95% confidence interval, there was no demonstrable difference between the 2 types of operative site management (P < .01).


PC of the skin and subcutaneous tissue after appendectomy for gangrenous or perforated appendicitis, combined with the use of antibiotic therapy in the perioperative period, is not associated with an increased risk of incision infection when compared with DC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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