Background: Laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) has been an established treatment method for uncomplicated acute appendicitis. Controversy still exits regarding the superiority of either laparoscopic or open technique for the treatment of complicated appendicitis. Objective: To examine for benefits in postoperative morbidity comparing laparoscopic versus open appendectomy for complicated appendicitis. Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed using the American College of Surgeon's National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (ACS-NSQIP) dataset between 2005 and 2007. Inclusion criteria were patients undergoing either open or laparoscopic appendectomy, and had complicated appendicitis. Patients with negative appendectomies and age less than 18 y old were excluded. The primary outcome variable was postoperative complications. Multivariate analysis was performed adjusting for demographics and standard NSQIP comorbidities. Results: We identified 2,790 complicated appendicitis cases treated with laparoscopic or open appendectomy. The majority were male (56.6%), White (70.3%), and 39.1% were younger than 40 y of age. On unadjusted analyses, the mean length of stay was significantly shorter for LA cases (3.97 d) than OA cases (5.13 d) (P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, superficial surgical site infection was 70% less likely to occur in LA (OR 0.304 P = 0.000), organ space infection was 2-fold more likely to occur in LA (OR 2.19 P = 0.003), and dehiscence was 78% less likely to occur in LA (OR 0.22 P = 0.015). Conclusion: In cases of complicated appendicitis, laparoscopic appendectomy is superior in terms of superficial and deep wound infections; however, it is associated with an increased incidence of postoperative intra-abdominal abscess. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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