Second date appendectomy: Operating for failure of nonoperative treatment in perforated appendicitis.

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Nonoperative treatment of acute appendicitis is embraced by many surgical teams, driven by low to moderate quality randomized studies that support noninferiority of antibiotics versus appendectomy for treatment of acute uncomplicated appendicitis. Several flaws of these studies have emerged, especially in the recruitment strategy and in the diagnostic criteria that were used. The growing confidence given to antibiotics, together with the lack of reliable criteria to distinguish between uncomplicated and perforated appendicitis, exposes patients with perforated appendicitis to the likelihood to be treated with antibiotics instead of surgery. Among them, those patients who experience a temporary relief of symptoms due to antibiotics, followed by early recurrence of disease when antibiotics are discontinued, are likely to undergo appendectomy at their second date. Second date appendectomy, i.e. the removal of the appendix when acute inflammation relapses within the scar of a previously unhealed perforated appendicitis, is the unwanted child of the nonoperative treatment and a new challenge for both the surgeon and the patient.


Between June and July 2016, two patients were readmitted and operated for failure of nonoperative treatment with antibiotics.


A video is presented, which focuses on the different anatomic presentation and technical challenges between prompt and second date laparoscopic appendectomy.


When proposing nonoperative treatment for acute appendicitis, surgeons should be aware and inform their patients that if the appendix is perforated and an incomplete healing and early recurrence occur, a second date appendectomy could be a more challenging operation compared to a prompt appendectomy.

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