Controversies in Appendicitis

Department of Surgery, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.
Surgical Infections (Impact Factor: 1.45). 01/2009; 9(6):553-8. DOI: 10.1089/sur.2008.9954
Source: PubMed


Appendectomy for appendicitis is a common operation that is performed by most general surgeons. Despite the large number of appendectomies, numerous management controversies continue.
Review of the pertinent English language literature.
Controversy persists regarding the use of imaging studies for diagnosis, laparoscopic vs. open surgical methods, nonoperative management of uncomplicated appendicitis, delayed management of the patient with phlegmon from severe appendicitis, the necessity for interval appendectomy, and the merits of deferral of off-hour appendectomy until the following morning. This review identifies the published reports that support the pros and cons of each controversy.
Class I data generally are lacking to support the resolution of these controversies. Additional well-controlled clinical trials are necessary to obtain definitive answers.

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    • "Studies in children have confirmed that acute appendicitis can be managed with intravenous antibiotics and operated on hours later without increased morbidity or mortality.[2–4] The timing of appendectomy has also been examined in adults, however, no definite conclusion on the timing of surgery.[5–8] "
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    ABSTRACT: Early surgery for appendicitis is thought to avoid complications associated with appendiceal rupture. This study was to evaluate the effect of timing of surgery on complications, length of stay (LOS) and cost in patients undergoing appendectomy. Retrospective review of 396 patients with appendectomies from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2007 was performed. Demographic data, time of presentation, physical findings, diagnostic data, operating room times, LOS, cost and complications were collected. Patients were divided into 4 groups based on time from presentation to appendectomy. Pathology confirmed appendicitis in 354 (89%) patients. Most patients (90%) had surgery within 18 h of presentation. Timing of surgery did not affect the incidence of purulent peritonitis (P = 0.883), abscess (P = 0.841) or perforation (P = 0.464). LOS was significantly shorter for patients with emergency department registration to operating room times less than 18 h (P < 0.0001). Costs were significantly higher for patients with times to operating room greater than 18 h (P < 0.001). Timing of surgery did not affect the incidence of complications or perforated appendicitis. However, delay in surgical consultation and surgery are associated with increased LOS and increased hospital costs. The optimal timing of appendectomy for uncomplicated acute appendicitis appears to be within 18 h of emergency department presentation.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · North American Journal of Medical Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Laparoscopic appendectomy for nonperforated appendicitis is associated with improved outcomes; however, laparoscopy has been challenged for perforated appendicitis owing to higher morbidity compared with open or staged procedures. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the laparoscopic approach for perforated appendicitis results in improved outcomes compared with open appendectomy. Postoperative patient records for confirmed perforated appendicitis from 2005 to 2008 were reviewed retrospectively. Demographics, surgical approach, conversion rate, and outcomes were tabulated, including length of stay (LOS), intra-abdominal and wound infections, and duration of antibiotic therapy. The incidence of perforation was 27.9% in 885 total patients. The conversion rate from laparoscopic to open for perforated appendicitis was 16%. Hospital LOS was significantly lower in the laparoscopic group (P < .05). The incidence of postoperative abscess was not significantly different; however, the incidence of wound infection and duration of antibiotic therapy were significantly lower in the laparoscopic group (P < .05). Successful laparoscopic appendectomy reduces LOS, antibiotic therapy, and wound infections compared with open appendectomy in perforated appendicitis without increasing the incidence of postoperative abscess. We conclude that perforated appendicitis can be managed effectively by laparoscopic appendectomy in a high percentage of patients with improved outcomes compared with open appendectomy.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2009 · Surgery
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    ABSTRACT: Acute appendicitis is the most common acute abdomen in general surgery. Show-Chwan Memorial Hospital began an AITS/IRCAD laparoscopic training program in late May 2008. In this retrospective analysis, we surveyed the impact of the AITS training program on surgeons' preference for open appendectomy (OA) versus laparoscopic appendectomy (LA). From January 1, 2004 to July 31, 2009, patients diagnosed with acute appendicitis in Changhua Show-Chwan Memorial Hospital and Chang-Bing Show-Chwan Memorial Hospital were retrospectively analyzed. Demographic data, laboratory examinations, surgical methods, hospital stay, and complication rate data were collected and analyzed. The LA rate and effect of surgeons' preference before and after AITS were compared. In all, 1,267 patients (58.2% male and 41.8% female; mean age, 36.6 years) were diagnosed with acute appendicitis during this period. Among them, 78.9% of patients had uncomplicated and 21.1% complicated appendicitis; 784 patients (61.9%) underwent OA, and 465 (36.7%) received LA. In 2004, only 8.1% of patients underwent LA, but the number increased rapidly to 90.4% in 2009 (P < 0.001). The average LA rate before AITS was 21%; however, after AITS, the LA rate increased to 84.6% (P < 0.001). The LA rate increased for all surgeons completing the training course, ranging from 16 to 83%. The overall appendectomy complication rate was 8.4%, with no significant difference between OA (9.7%) and LA (6.5%; P = 0.174). Hospital stay was shorter in the LA group (4.05 ± 1.9 days) compared with the OA group (4.55 ± 3.6; P = 0.006). Attending the laparoscopic training course significantly increased surgeons' preference for LA.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2010 · Surgical Endoscopy
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