ABSTRACT: There has not been an appraisal of outcomes of appendectomy for more than 10 years. More reliable diagnostic techniques and minimally invasive surgery are now in widespread use, yet the impact of these advances remains unknown.
A retrospective review was performed of 453 patients who underwent appendectomy for appendicitis at a single hospital from 2004 to 2009. Patient demographics, operative characteristics, procedure cost, and pathologic diagnoses were analyzed.
The overall rate of complicated appendicitis was 13%, with a negative appendectomy rate of 4.9%. The average age was significantly greater for patients with complicated versus uncomplicated appendicitis (47 vs. 33 years, respectively; p<0.001), and by logistic regression, age (as a continuous variable) was a significant factor for complicated appendicitis (p<0.001). The hospital length of stay was 2.3 times longer for patients with complicated appendicitis (4.4 vs. 1.9 days; p<0.001), and the average cost was 86% higher ($14,125 vs. $7,595; p<0.001), the difference in cost being attributable mostly to pharmacy and nursing costs.
Advances in diagnostic and surgical technique may be altering traditionally accepted rates of complicated appendicitis and negative appendectomy. For the first time, age is shown to be related to the rate of complicated appendicitis as a continuous variable rather than simply an extreme. Patients with complicated appendicitis still stay in the hospital longer, and there is a large cost difference as a result.
Surgical Infections 05/2012; 13(3):141-6. · 1.80 Impact Factor