Laparoscopic Appendectomies: Retrospective Study of 2074 Cases

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PurposeTo determine feasibility and safety of laparoscopic appendectomy (LA).PatientsFrom January 1991 to June 2006, 2209 consecutive patients underwent appendectomy; for 2074 patients, appendectomy was performed laparoscopically. One thousand and fifty (53%) were women; mean age was 30.8 (11 to 96) years. Mean body mass index was 23.6 (18 to 58 kg/m2). Mean American Society of Anesthesiology score was 1.3 (I to III).ResultsMean operating time was 52 minutes (15 to 200). Conversion to open appendectomy occurred for 84 patients (3.6%) mainly for acute or generalized peritonitis, abscess, or adhesion. Mean hospital stay was 3.75 (1 to 27) days. There was no mortality. Morbidity occurred in 4.5% of the patients: parietal (1.15%), peritoneal complications (1.1%), and others (2.25%). Additional interventions were required for 30 patients (1.5%) primarily for residual abscesses. In this study, 10.9% (n=226) of the specimens were considered normal by the pathologist. In 3.9% (77 cases), laparoscopy did not find any cause for nonspecific abdominal pain. In these cases, appendix was not removed.ConclusionsLA is technically feasible and safe. Diagnostic laparoscopy is recommended in cases suspicious for acute appendicitis. Laparoscopy permits a complete exploration of the abdominal cavity, helps to localize the appendix, allows for the eliminations of other diagnoses when the appendix is normal, and to facilitate a better peritoneal lavage in case of peritonitis. It is recommended to perform LA routinely in young women and obese. Although advantages of LA still need to be evaluated, in view of the excellent results, we have decided to perform it routinely. We also recommend not removing macroscopically normal appendices discovered during diagnostic laparoscopy for abdominal pain of unexplained origin.

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