Laparoscopic Appendicectomy for Complicated Appendicitis: Is it Safe and Justified?A Retrospective Analysis

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BackgroundAlthough laparoscopic appendectomy has some advantages over open appendectomy, the literature suggests conflicting results regarding postoperative complications for complicated appendicitis.MethodsA retrospective review of patients with complicated appendicitis managed surgically at Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Center, Madurai, Tamilnadu, India was undertaken. A total of 497 patients were admitted with acute appendicitis and operated during the study period of 10 years from January 1999 to July 2009, out of which 119 (24%) patients had complicated appendicitis whereas 378 (76%) had uncomplicated acute appendicitis. The mean age of patients included in the study was 33.42 years (range, 4 to 80 y) with a male: female ratio of 2:1.ResultsNinety-nine patients (83.19%) underwent laparoscopic appendicectomy and 1 patient underwent laparoscopic-assisted right hemicolectomy for suspected mass lesion of the cecum. Eleven patients (9.24%) underwent open appendicectomy because of preoperative clinical features of peritonitis in 10 patients and mass in 1 patient. Seven patients (5.88%) had conversion from laparoscopic to open procedure. The overall mean operating time was 68 minutes (25 to 180 min). For laparoscopic appendicectomy, 66 minutes (25 to 180 min), for open appendicectomy 76 minutes (50 to 110 min), for lap to open conversion 85 minutes (40 to 135 min), and for drainage procedure 67 minutes (60 to 75 min). A total of 28 patients developed complication in the form of wound infection (7), pneumonia (8), intra-abdominal abscess (11), and enterocutaneous fistula (2) after percutaneous drainage of intra-abdominal collection. All were managed conservatively and no mortality occurred.ConclusionsThe morbidity rates, particularly for intra-abdominal abscesses and wound infection were less for laparoscopic appendectomy in complicated appendicitis than those reported in the literature for open appendectomy, whereas operating times and hospital stays were similar.

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