Cost Is Not a Drawback to Perform Laparoscopic Appendectomy in an Academic Hospital

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Appendectomy is the most frequently performed emergent surgical procedure in western countries. There is still controversy about which alternative is clinically and economically superior: open or laparoscopic appendectomy (LA). Our aim was to determine clinical outcomes and cost of both procedures in our academic institution. A retrospective comparative study was performed including patients undergoing appendectomy from January to December 2011. Demographic data, operating room occupancy time, hospital length of stay, complications, and economic data were obtained. A total of 116 appendectomies were performed along the time of study, 23.27% laparoscopic and 76.72% open. Groups were similar in terms of demographics and intraoperative findings. Operating room occupancy time was longer in laparoscopic group and hospital stay was shorter. No significant differences were found respecting to postoperative complications rate. Cost minimization analysis showed that LA saved 1561.08€ per patient. In our teaching setting, LA may have clinical and economic advantages over open appendectomy.

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