Outcome of laparoscopic appendectomy for perforated appendicitis in children
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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of laparoscopic (LA) vs open appendectomy (OA) in patients with perforated appendicitis in our center. METHODS: Retrospective review from July 2002 to April 2007 (institutional review board-approved), evaluating 281 patients with perforated appendicitis based on surgical approach. We compared demographics, mean operative time, length of stay (LOS), infectious complications, and follow-up in patients with OA (n = 213) and LA (n = 68). RESULTS: Laparoscopic appendectomy patients were significantly older (12 vs 9.4 years), heavier (51.8 vs 36.6 kg) and more frequently girls (47.8% vs 34.3%). Mean operative time was longer in LA (72.6 vs 50.2 minutes). Median LOS was 5 days in LA and 6 days in OA. Few patients in each group required a drainage procedure for a persistent abscess (LA 4.4%, OA 4.7%; P = 1.000). Laparoscopic appendectomy patients had fewer wound infections (1.5% vs 9.5%; P = .034), and less follow-up visits were needed (>2 clinic visits 4.5% vs 16.4%; P = .013). CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic appendectomy has a shorter median LOS, a trend toward less postoperative infectious complications, and fewer clinic visits than OA, which makes it a safe and effective procedure for patients with perforated appendicitis.