Laparoscopic Appendectomy: Why It Should Be Done


OBJECTIVE Notwithstanding its widely perceived advantages, laparoscopic appendectomy has not yet met with universal acceptance. The aim of the present work is to illustrate retrospectively the results of a case-control experience with laparoscopic versus open appendectomy carried out at our institution. METHODS Between January 1993 and November 2000, 555 patients (M:F = 210:345; mean age 25.2 +/- 15 years) underwent emergency or urgent appendectomy, or both. Of them, 322 (52%) were operated on laparoscopically, and 233 (48%) were treated via conventional surgery, according to the presence of a well-trained surgical team. RESULTS The laparoscopic group conversion rate was 3.1% (10/322) and was mainly due to the presence of dense intraabdominal adhesions. Major intraoperative complications ranged as high as 0.3% (1/322) and 0%, respectively, in the laparoscopic and conventional groups (P=ns). Major postoperative complications were 1.6% (5/312) vs 0.8% (2/243), respectively (P=ns). Postoperative mortality was 0.3% (1/312) and 0.4% (1/243) in the laparoscopic and conventional subsets of patients. Reinterventions were 0.9% (3/322) in the laparoscopic patients versus nil in the open group (P=ns). Minor postoperative complications were observed in 0.6% (2/312) and 6.5% (16/243) of patients, respectively, in the laparoscopy and open surgery groups, and consisted mainly of wound infections (P=0.001). Flatus passage and hospitalization were significantly more rapid among the laparoscopic patients. The greater diagnostic accuracy of laparoscopy allowed the diagnosis of concurrent diseases in 12% (30/254) versus 1.5% (3/199) of patients with histology proven appendicitis treated via laparoscopy versus laparotomy (P<0.01). Similarly, among those patients without gross or microscopic evidence of appendicitis, or both gross and microscopic evidence, concurrent diseases were detected in 57.3% (39/68) of laparoscopic patients versus 8.8% (3/34) in the conventional ones (P<0.01). CONCLUSION Even if limited by its retrospective nature, the present experience shows that laparoscopic appendectomy is as safe and effective as conventional surgery, has a higher diagnostic yield, causes less trauma, and offers a more rapid postoperative recovery. Such features make laparoscopy a challenging alternative to laparotomy in premenopausal women referred for urgent abdominal or pelvic surgery, or both.

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@inproceedings{Agresta2003LaparoscopicAW, title={Laparoscopic Appendectomy: Why It Should Be Done}, author={Ferdinando Agresta and Paolo de Simone and Ivan Michelet and Natalino Bedin}, booktitle={JSLS : Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons}, year={2003} }