Outcome after introduction of laparoscopic appendectomy in children: A cohort study

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Abstract

Introduction Acute appendicitis in children is common and the optimal treatment modality is still debated, even if recent data suggest that laparoscopic surgery may result in shorter postoperative length of stay without an increased number of complications. The aim of the study was to compare the outcome of open and laparoscopic appendectomies during a transition period. Materials and methods This was a retrospective cohort study with prospectively collected data. All patients who underwent an operation for suspected appendicitis at the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital in Stockholm between 2006 and 2010 were included in the study. Results 1745 children were included in this study, of whom 1010 had a laparoscopic intervention. There were no significant differences in the rate of postoperative abscesses, wound infections, readmissions or reoperations between the two groups. The median operating time was longer for laparoscopic appendectomy than for open appendectomy, 51 vs. 37 minutes (p < 0.05). The postoperative length of stay was similar in the two groups. A simple comparison between the groups suggested that laparoscopic appendectomy had a shorter median postoperative length of stay, 43 vs. 57 hours (p < 0.05). However, there was a trend in time for a shorter postoperative length of stay, and a trend for more of the procedures to be performed laparoscopically over time so on regression analysis, the apparent decrease in length of stay with laparoscopy could be ascribed to the general trend toward decreased length of stay over time, with no specific additional effect of laparoscopy. Conclusions Our data show no difference in outcome between open and laparoscopic surgery for acute appendicitis in children in regard of complications. The initial assumption that the patients treated with laparoscopic surgery had a shorter postoperative stay was not confirmed with linear regression, which showed that the assumed difference was due only to a trend toward shorter postoperative length of stay over time, regardless of the surgical intervention.

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Svensson, J. F., Patkova, B., Almström, M., Eaton, S., & Wester, T. (2016). Outcome after introduction of laparoscopic appendectomy in children: A cohort study. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 51(3), 449–453. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2015.10.002

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