Laparoscopic appendectomy in children: report of 1,379 cases

J Pediatr Surg. 1994 Jun;29(6):786-9. doi: 10.1016/0022-3468(94)90371-9.


The authors present a retrospective analysis of 1,379 pediatric laparoscopic appendectomies. The patients' average age was 10 years (range, 2 to 16 years). On gross examination, 90% of the appendixes appeared inflamed; on microscopic examination, 93% had evidence of acute appendicitis. The incidence of appendiceal peritonitis was 16%. Nonappendiceal lesions were identified in 10% of patients. The incidence of minor intraoperative events was 2.1%, and the postoperative complication rate was 1.5%; 0.7% of patients required a subsequent laparotomy or additional laparoscopic procedure. There were no deaths. The children were discharged after a 2-day (average) hospitalization and returned to unrestricted activities 1 week after surgery. The advantages of laparoscopic appendectomy are its easy and rapid localization of the appendix, the ability to explore the entire abdominal cavity, the ability to lavage completely the contaminated peritoneal cavity, and a reduction in the incidence of intraperitoneal abscesses and postoperative adhesions. Laparoscopic appendectomy offers reduced parietal scarring, a shorter hospital stay, and an earlier return to normal activities, even in cases of complicated acute appendicitis. Our experience confirms that laparoscopic appendectomy is safe and effective in children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Appendectomy* / methods
  • Appendicitis / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies