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Clinical Trial
. 2004 Feb;18(2):334-7.
doi: 10.1007/s00464-003-8927-x. Epub 2003 Dec 29.

Laparoscopic Versus Open Appendectomy: What Is the Real Difference? Results of a Prospective Randomized Double-Blinded Trial

Affiliations
Clinical Trial

Laparoscopic Versus Open Appendectomy: What Is the Real Difference? Results of a Prospective Randomized Double-Blinded Trial

R C Ignacio et al. Surg Endosc. .

Abstract

Background: The comparison of laparoscopic to open appendectomy has been reviewed in many retrospective and prospective studies. Some report shorter hospital stays, less postoperative pain, and earlier return to work while others fail to demonstrate such differences. We performed a prospective, randomized double-blinded trial to evaluate this ongoing debate.

Methods: Fifty-two consecutive men presenting with signs and symptoms suggestive of acute appendicitis were randomized to undergo either laparoscopic appendectomy or open appendectomy. Length of operative times, hospital stay, lost work days, visual analog pain scores, and operative costs were compared.

Results: Length of stay averaged 21.5 h for the laparoscopic group and was not statistically different when compared to the open group. Perceived postoperative pain on postoperative days 1 and 7 were not statistically different between the two groups. Mean time to return to work was 11 days, and there was no statistical difference between groups. Operative costs were >600 dollars greater for the laparoscopic approach.

Conclusions: In this prospective randomized double-blinded trial, laparoscopic appendectomy appears to confer no significant advantage over open appendectomy for postoperative pain or lost work days. It does carry an increase in operating room costs and, contrary to other reports, hospital stay is not shortened. Further studies are needed to determine if specific populations, such as the obese or women, may benefit from a minimally invasive approach to appendicitis.

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