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Monitoring Complications of Medically Managed Acute Appendicitis

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Nonoperative management of acute appendicitis is becoming widespread, but recurrence and the potential for a complicated course are important concerns. An admission report-based institutional database was created to monitor appendicitis treatment outcomes. Complications and complexity of surgery were recorded based on manual chart review. A cohort of patients spanning one year was analyzed. Initial management was operative in 181 (82%) and nonoperative in 39 (18%) cases. There were no differences in demographics, BMI, or Alvarado score. One operative patient and 17 nonoperative patients required additional treatment for recurrence/nonresolution (0.6% vs 44%, P < 0.00001). Twenty-eight (15%) operative patients and 17 (44%) nonoperative patients had complications (P = 0.0003). Thirty-six (19.9%) operations in the operative group and 8 (53.3%) in the nonoperative group were classified as complex (P = 0.007). Hospital stay was longer in the nonoperative group (one vs two days, P = 0.005). Two incidental malignancies in the operative group and one in the nonoperative group were identified. These results are consistent with prior studies showing that recurrence/nonresolution is common after nonoperative management. For patients with recurrence/nonresolution, surgery may be more complex.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2018

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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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