Should We Perform Incidental Appendectomy in Trauma Patients Undergoing Laparotomy?

Am Surg. 2023 Jun;89(6):2996-2998. doi: 10.1177/00031348221109458. Epub 2022 Jun 15.


Incidental appendectomy (IA) is sometimes performed in patients undergoing abdominal operations to prevent subsequent development of appendicitis. Patients who undergo laparotomy for major abdominal trauma are at high risk of developing dense adhesions, increasing the risk of future operations. Therefore, there is a potential benefit to IA for patients undergoing trauma laparotomy. We performed a retrospective review of patients who underwent IA during laparotomy for abdominal trauma at a Level 1 trauma center between January 2010, and June 2020. Twenty-three patients underwent IA; they tended to be young (33.7 ± 18.9 years) and male (87%) with 12 penetrating and 11 blunt injuries. Regarding indications, 13 had no documented intra-operative abnormalities of the appendix, 6 patients had a fecalith, and 3 had trauma to the appendix. One patient's appendix was adhered to the peritoneum and one patient had unusual anatomic location. Only one patient developed an appendiceal stump leak after IA.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Injuries* / complications
  • Abdominal Injuries* / surgery
  • Appendectomy
  • Appendicitis* / complications
  • Appendicitis* / surgery
  • Appendix* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laparotomy
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies