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J Pediatr Surg. 2012 Jun;47(6):1177-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2012.03.024.

Treatment of perforated appendicitis in children: what is the cost?

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Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



We compared direct hospital costs and indirect costs to the family associated with immediate appendectomy or initial nonoperative management for perforated appendicitis in children.


From June 2009 through May 2010, 61 prospectively identified families completed a cost diary, documenting the numbers of missed school days for the child and missed employment days for the adult caregiver(s) over the treatment course. Hospital costs were obtained from hospital financial databases. Mann-Whitney U tests and Fisher exact tests were used to compare outcome measures for each treatment strategy.


Patients treated by initial nonoperative management had a significantly longer median length of stay (9 days vs 7 days, P = .02) and a significantly greater median total hospital cost per patient ($31,349 vs $21,323, P = .01) when compared with those treated by immediate appendectomy. There was no significant difference in median number of missed school days (9 days vs 10 days, P = .23) or missed employment days for adult caregiver(s) (5 days vs 7 days, P = .18) between treatment strategies.


Patients with perforated appendicitis treated by initial nonoperative management had a greater length of stay and a significantly greater total hospital cost but were not burdened by significantly greater indirect costs compared with those treated by immediate appendectomy.

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