Laparoscopic versus open appendectomy for appendicitis in elderly patients.

Department of Surgery, Sahmyook Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Journal of the Korean Society of Coloproctology 10/2011; 27(5):241-5. DOI: 10.3393/jksc.2011.27.5.241
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The appendectomy is the most common emergent surgical procedure in elderly patients. The increasing number of elderly persons has been accompanied by an increase in the number of cases of acute appendicitis in the elderly. In order to understand the clinical significance of a laparoscopic appendectomy for elderly patients with appendicitis, we investigated the results of a laparoscopic appendectomy for treating patients over 60 years of age with appendicitis and compared them with the results for an open technique.
We studied retrospectively patients over 60 years of age who underwent an appendectomy with either a laparoscopic (LA) or open (OA) technique for appendicitis between July 2007 and December 2009. There were 30 patients in the LA group and 47 patients in the OA group. The demographic data, operative time, length of the hospital stay, bowel movement, pain control, cost, complications and pre-existing disease were assessed.
There were no significant differences between the LA and the OA groups with respect to pre-existing diseases, gender, age, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score and the number of cases of complicated appendicitis, operative time, length of hospital stay, and times of analgesics use. However, the proportion of early gas out (within POD #2) was significantly greater in the LA group (80% vs. 57%, P < 0.05), and postoperative complications were significantly lower in the LA group (7% vs. 32%, P < 0.01). The costs for the two groups were not significantly different.
A laparoscopic appendectomy is a safe and effective procedure in elderly patients and is not associated with any increase in morbidity. It can be recommended for routine use in treating elderly patients with appendicitis.

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