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Results of laparoscopicvs. conventional appendectomy in complicated appendicitis

  • Original Contributions
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Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although many trials show some advantages of laparoscopic appendectomy over open appendectomy, the value of laparoscopic appendectomy is still controversial. Specifically the question of whether there are benefits of laparoscopic appendectomy over open appendectomy in complicated appendicitis remains to be answered. METHODS: Of 1,106 consecutive appendectomies (717 laparoscopic appendectomies, 330 open appendectomies, and 59 conversions) between 1989 and 1999, the results of 299 patients with complicated appendicitis (defined by perforation, abscess, or peritonitis) were analyzed retrospectively to compare the complications of laparoscopic appendectomy and conversion (intention-to-treat group) with those of open appendectomy. RESULTS: Complicated appendicitis (n=299) was treated by laparoscopic appendectomy in 171 patients, by open appendectomy in 82 patients, and by conversion in 46 patients. Laparoscopic appendectomy and conversion showed fewer abdominal wall complications than open appendectomy (13/217; 6 percentvs. 15/82; 18.3 percent;P<0.003), which led to a decrease of the total complication rate in the intention-to-treat group (21/217; 9.7 percentvs. 19/82; 23.1 percent;P=0.004). The rate of intra-abdominal abscess formation was nearly the same after laparoscopic appendectomy (4.1 percent) and open appendectomy (4.9 percent). The total complication rate was higher in complicated appendicitis than in acute appendicitis (P<0.005) but was independent of the laparoscopic technique. The conversion rate was higher in complicated appendicitis than in acute appendicitis (21.2vs. 2.3 percent;P<0.001). CONCLUSION: In comparison with open appendectomy, laparoscopic appendectomy (by itself and in an intention-to-treat view) leads to a significant reduction of early postoperative complications in complicated appendicitis and therefore should be considered as the procedure of choice.

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Preliminary results of our first laparoscopically treated patients were presented in 1998 in German (Barkhausen S, Wullstein C, Gross E. Laparoskopische versus konventionelle Appendektomie—ein Vergleich hinsichtlich der frühpostoperativen Komplikationen. Zentralbl Chir 1998;123:858–62).

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Wullstein, C., Barkhausen, S. & Gross, E. Results of laparoscopicvs. conventional appendectomy in complicated appendicitis. Dis Colon Rectum 44, 1700–1705 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02234393

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