, Volume 398, Issue 1, pp 147-152
Date: 05 Dec 2012

Single institution’s experience in laparoscopic appendectomy as a suitable therapy for complicated appendicitis

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Although laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) for acute appendicitis (AA) is widely performed, the value of LA for the treatment of complicated appendicitis (CA) is still controversially discussed.


In a retrospective study, we analyzed the clinical records of 404 patients who underwent LA or conversion (intention-to-treat group) or open appendectomy (OA) for AA or CA at the Alfried Krupp Hospital Essen-Rüttenscheid, Germany between January 2007 and December 2010.


AA was treated in 64.2 % by LA and in 35.8 % by OA; the LA-to-OA conversion rate amounts to 3.7 %. CA was treated in 56 % by LA and in 44 % by OA. The LA-to-OA conversion rate here is 13.1 %, and compared to AA, it is significantly (P < 0.01) higher. Comparing LA with OA in both patient groups, we find no significant difference in the overall complication rate, the rate of postoperative intraabdominal abscesses and postoperative ileus. However, in both patient groups, the wound infection rate was significantly lower in patients who had undergone LA (AA P < 0.05 versus CA P < 0.01). In contrast to patients suffering from AA, patients with CA needed significantly less resurgery when treated by LA as compared to OA (P < 0.001). While the duration of surgery for the treatment of AA and CA was similar, the hospitalization time was significantly shorter with LA than with OA (AA P < 0.05 versus CA P < 0.001).


The data suggest that LA is advantageous not only in the treatment of AA, but also in the therapy of CA. Thus, LA may become a proper and safe routine method if performed by an experienced surgeon.