Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Wideochir Inne Tech Maloinwazyjne. 2013 Dec;8(4):310-4. doi: 10.5114/wiitm.2011.35002. Epub 2013 May 7.

The need for culture swabs in laparoscopically treated appendicitis.

Author information

3 Department of General Surgery, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland.



Appendicitis remains the most common cause of an acute abdomen. Obtaining intra-abdominal cultures is routine surgical practice. There are studies showing no efficacy of such procedures in cases where open appendectomies are performed.


The goal of this study was to assess the need for obtaining intra-abdominal cultures during laparoscopic appendectomies.


Between 2007 and 2012, 369 patients were operated on with the diagnosis of histopathologically proven acute appendicitis. Sixty-two percent of them were operated on using laparoscopic techniques. The microbiological assessment was routinely done for the open procedures and in 42% of cases that underwent a laparoscopic operation.


In 57% (134) the swabbing results were negative. Among 43% (102) of the patients with a positive result, Escherichia coli was isolated in 76.5% (78), Proteus mirabilis in 13.7% (14), Pseudomonas aeruginosa in 4.9% (5) and Citrobacter freundii in 4.9% (5). Five cases had bacteria resistant to the antibiotic given preoperatively (that is 4.9% of all positive cultures and 1.4% of all operated patients). However, these cases did not affect the incidence of postoperative complications. Consideration of the postoperative morbidity showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the laparoscopic group with and without intra-operative swabbing (p > 0.05).


The postoperative patient outcome was more dependent on the pathology of the appendix than on the results of the microbiological assessment at the time of surgery. Hence, routine intra-operative cultures during laparoscopic appendectomies appear to have little value in patient management. Swabbing during laparoscopic procedures should be limited to only selected high-risk groups.


appendicitis; culture swabs; laparoscopic appendectomy

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center