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Comparing the Cost and Outcomes of Laparoscopic versus Open Appendectomy for Perforated Appendicitis in Children

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Although laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) is accepted treatment for perforated appendicitis (PA) in children, concerns remain whether it has equivalent outcomes with open appendectomy (OA) and increased cost. A retrospective review was conducted of patients younger than age 17 years treated for PA over a 12.5-year period at a tertiary medical center. Patient characteristics, preoperative indices, and postoperative outcomes were analyzed for patients undergoing LA and OA. Of 289 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 86 had LA (29.8%) and 203 OA (70.2%), the two groups having equivalent patient demographics and preoperative indices. Inpatient costs were not significantly different between LA and OA. LA had a lower rate of wound infection (1.2 vs 8.9%, P = 0.017), total parenteral nutrition use (23.3 vs 50.7%, P < 0.0001), and length of stay (5.56 ± 2.38 days vs 7.25 ± 3.77 days, P = 0.0001). There was no significant difference in the rate of postoperative organ space abscess, surgical re-exploration, or rehospitalization. In children with PA, LA had fewer surgical site infections and shorter lengths of hospital stay compared with OA without an increase in inpatient costs.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Section of Pediatric Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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