A comparative study of routine laparoscopic versus open appendectomy

JSLS. 2006 Apr-Jun;10(2):188-92.


Objective: We evaluated the outcomes of routine laparoscopy and laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) in patients with suspected appendicitis. This is a retrospective study of the outcomes of patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy compared with outcomes for patients undergoing open appendectomy (OA) during the time that LA came into use.

Method: Results of patients managed with routine laparoscopy and LA for suspected acute appendicitis were reviewed and analyzed. The preoperative and intraoperative findings were recorded. The clinical outcomes were compared with those of patients undergoing OA in the preceding 10 months.

Results: During the LA study period, 97 patients (47 men) with the median age of 34 years (range, 18 to 79) presented with clinical features of acute appendicitis. With the exclusion of 5 patients with open operations and 10 patients with other pathologies, 82 patients underwent laparoscopic appendectomy (Group A) for appendicitis. Thirty-one (37.8%) patients had complicated appendicitis (perforated or gangrenous appendicitis). Conversions were required in 6 patients (7.3%). During the OA period, 125 patients (57 men) with the median age of 42 (range, 19 to 79) years were operated on. With the exclusion of 6 patients with other pathologies, 119 underwent OA for acute appendicitis (Group B). Fifty-one (42.9%) had either perforated or gangrenous appendicitis. The median durations of surgery in Group A and Group B were 80 minutes (range, 40 to 195) and 60 minutes (range, 25 to 260), respectively (P < 0.005). Postoperative complication rates were comparable between the 2 groups (13.4% in Group A versus 15.8% in Group B). The median hospital stay for patients in Group A and Group B were 3.0 days (range, 1 to 47) and 4.0 days (range, 1 to 47), respectively (P = 0.037).

Conclusions: We conclude that routine laparoscopy and LA for suspected acute appendicitis is safe and is associated with a significantly shorter hospital stay. Other intra-abdominal pathologies can also be diagnosed more accurately with the laparoscopic approach.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Appendectomy / adverse effects
  • Appendectomy / methods*
  • Appendicitis / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies