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Ann Surg. 2004 Jan;239(1):43-52.

Laparoscopic versus open appendectomy: outcomes comparison based on a large administrative database.

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Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



To compare length of hospital stay, in-hospital complications, in-hospital mortality, and rate of routine discharge between laparoscopic and open appendectomy based on a representative, nationwide database.


Numerous single-institutional randomized clinical trials have assessed the efficacy of laparoscopic and open appendectomy. The results, however, are conflicting, and a consensus concerning the relative advantages of each procedure has not yet been reached.


Patients with primary ICD-9 procedure codes for laparoscopic and open appendectomy were selected from the 1997 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database that approximates 20% of all US community hospital discharges. Multiple linear and logistic regression analyses were used to assess the risk-adjusted endpoints.


Discharge abstracts of 43757 patients were used for our analyses. 7618 patients (17.4%) underwent laparoscopic and 36139 patients (82.6%) open appendectomy. Patients had an average age of 30.7 years and were predominantly white (58.1%) and male (58.6%). After adjusting for other covariates, laparoscopic appendectomy was associated with shorter median hospital stay (laparoscopic appendectomy: 2.06 days, open appendectomy: 2.88 days, P < 0.0001), lower rate of infections (odds ratio [OR] = 0.5 [0.38, 0.66], P < 0.0001), decreased gastrointestinal complications (OR = 0.8 [0.68, 0.96], P = 0.02), lower overall complications (OR = 0.84 [0.75, 0.94], P = 0.002), and higher rate of routine discharge (OR = 3.22 [2.47, 4.46], P < 0.0001).


Laparoscopic appendectomy has significant advantages over open appendectomy with respect to length of hospital stay, rate of routine discharge, and postoperative in-hospital morbidity.

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