World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 998–1006 | Cite as

Early Laparoscopic Washout may Resolve Persistent Intra-abdominal Infection Post-appendicectomy

  • Matthew G. R. Allaway
  • Kristenne Clement
  • Guy D. Eslick
  • Michael R. CoxEmail author
Original Scientific Report



Intra-abdominal abscess (IAA) complicates 2–3% of patients having an appendicectomy. The usual management is prolonged antibiotics and drainage of the IAA. From 2006, our unit chose to use early re-laparoscopy and washout in patients with persistent sepsis following appendicectomy. The aims of this study were to assess the outcomes of early laparoscopic washout in patients with features of persistent intra-abdominal sepsis and compare those with percutaneous drainage and open drainage of post-appendicectomy IAA.


A retrospective case note review was performed for all patients having a laparoscopic washout, percutaneous drainage or open drainage following appendicectomy between January 2006 and December 2017.


During the period, 4901 appendicectomies occurred. Forty-one (0.8%) patients had a laparoscopic washout, 16 (0.3%) had percutaneous drainage, and 6 (0.1%) had an open drainage. The demographics, ASA grade and pathology at initial appendicectomy were similar. The mean time after appendicectomy was significantly shorter for laparoscopic washout (4.1 days vs. 10.1 and 9.0 days, p = <0.003). The mean time for resolution of SIRS was significantly shorter (2.0 days vs. 3.3 and 5.2 days, p <0.02). The morbidity and length of stay were similar.


Early laparoscopic washout for persistent intra-abdominal sepsis may be an alternative to non-operative management and delayed intervention for IAA and may have better outcomes than either percutaneous drainage or open drainage. A prospective randomised comparison is required to further evaluate the indications and role of early laparoscopic washout post-appendicectomy.


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Allaway, Dr. Clement, Professor Eslick and Professor Cox have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew G. R. Allaway
    • 1
  • Kristenne Clement
    • 1
  • Guy D. Eslick
    • 2
  • Michael R. Cox
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryNepean HosptialPenrithAustralia
  2. 2.The Whiteley-Martin Research Centre, Clinical Sciences BuildingNepean HospitalPenrithAustralia

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