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J Pediatr Surg. 2009 Oct;44(10):1924-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2009.03.037.

Complicated appendicitis in children: is laparoscopic appendectomy appropriate? A comparative study with the open appendectomy--our experience.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Tong ji Hospital, Tong ji Medical College, Hua zhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, PR China.



Good outcomes have been reported with laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) for uncomplicated appendicitis in children, but the use of laparoscopy for complicated appendicitis in children is more controversial. This is related to a higher incidence of postoperative abdominal and wound infections. The purpose of this trial was to retrospectively compare LA and open appendectomy (OA) for complicated appendicitis and evaluate the efficacy of LA in children with complicated appendicitis.


The outcome of 128 patients with complicated appendicitis in children was retrospectively analyzed. There were 80 children in the LA group and 48 in the OA group. The appendectomies were performed by a single senior surgeon and his surgical trainees. There was no selection of cases for LA. Data collection included demographics, operative time, resumption of diet, infectious complications (wound infection and intraabdominal abscess), length of hospitalization, and duration of antibiotic use.


There were no cases of LA that required conversion to OA. The operative time for LA (88.5 +/- 28.8 minutes for LA vs 71.8 +/- 30.6 minutes for OA; t = 3.10; P = .002) was longer. Patients in the LA group returned to oral intake earlier (1.8 +/- 0.6 days for LA vs 2.8 +/- 0.8 days for OA; t = -8.04; P < .01) and had a shorter length of hospital stay (6.5 +/- 2.2 days for LA vs 7.8 +/- 2.9 days for OA; t = -2.87; P = .005). The incidence of wound infection (1/80 [1.3%] for LA vs 6/48 [12.5%] for OA; P < .05) and postoperative intraabdominal abscess (2/80 [2.5%] for LA vs 7/48 [14.6%] for OA; P < .05) in LA group was lower. No significant difference was found in the duration of antibiotic administration between the 2 groups (5.8 +/- 1.8 days for LA vs 6.3 +/- 2.3 days for OA; t = -1.37; P = .174). No mortality was observed in either group.


The minimally invasive laparoscopic technique is feasible, safe, and efficacious for children with complicated appendicitis. Laparoscopic appendectomy should be the initial procedure of choice for most cases of complicated appendicitis in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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