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Laparoscopic appendectomy is a feasible and a safe alternative to open appendectomy. Several laparoscopic procedures have been described that use one or more trocars. We report our experience with the treatment of acute appendicitis using a laparoscopy-assisted technique by means of only one transumbilical trocar.
From February 1996 to February 1999 we performed 65 laparoscopic appendectomies. In the procedures, a 10-mm operative telescope was used, with a 450-mm atraumatic grasper introduced through the operative channel. After the intraabdominal laparoscopic dissection, the appendix was exteriorized through the umbilical trocar. The appendectomy was performed outside the abdomen as in the open procedure. The procedure was completed using only one trocar in 55 patients (84.6%). Regarding the other 10 cases (15.3%), in 5 we used more than one trocar and in 5 conversion to open surgery was needed.
The average operating time in our series was 25 min and the median time to discharge was 2 days. There were six (11%) postoperative complications (three serous umbilical secretion and three umbilical hematomas).
Our results suggest that this technique, which combines the advantages of both the open and the laparoscopic procedures, is a valid alternative for the treatment of acute appendicitis. However, this procedure cannot always be completed using only one trocar, as happened in 10 cases in our series.
Key wordsAppendectomy One trocar Laparoscopy
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