A review of the results of laparoscopic versus open appendectomy

Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1993 Nov;177(5):473-80.


Proponents of laparoscopic appendectomy emphasize the advantages of laparoscopic operation--decreased hospitalization, paralytic ileus, postoperative pain and wound complications, including infection. This study compared open laparoscopic appendectomy with laparoscopic appendectomy. To compare the two techniques, patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy at four hospitals were compared with patients undergoing open appendectomy during a six month period. Excluded were incidental appendectomies and patients with perforated appendicitis. An equal number of pediatric patients undergoing laparoscopic and open procedures were included in the analysis to avoid bias, because most of the laparoscopic appendectomies were performed in the adult patient population (age of more than 16 years). A University Medical Center, a Veterans Administration and two community hospitals were the settings. Patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy (n = 54) had an average age of 25.7 +/- 1.5 (range of six to 59 years). These patients were compared with 121 patients undergoing open appendectomy whose average age was 23.7 +/- 1.8 (range of three to 83 years). The race and gender distribution were similar in the two groups. Traditional open appendectomy was compared with a group of patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy. Variables evaluated were operating room time, number of patients who reported nausea, days until patient tolerated a regular diet, days of hospitalization, postoperative pain medication and wound infection rate. Results are expressed as the mean plus or minus standard error of the mean. Analysis of variance was used to compute continuous variables and Fischer's exact test was used for discrete variables. The laparoscopic approach was attempted in 61 patients and completed in 54 patients. Open appendectomy was performed upon 121 patients. Nineteen patients (18 who underwent open operation and one patient who underwent laparoscopic operation) were excluded from further analysis because of perforated appendicitis. The open procedure took less time (p < 0.05). However, there were more wound infections than in the laparoscopic group (seven of 103 versus zero of 53; p = 0.09). Patients with acute appendicitis recuperated more quickly from the laparoscopic procedure, as evidenced by the time until eating regular diet, period of hospitalization, incidence of nausea and pain medications on postoperative day one (p < 0.05). The absence of wound infections after laparoscopic appendectomy can be attributed to the practice of placing the appendix in a sterile bag or into the trocar sleeve before removal from the abdomen. Laparoscopic appendectomy reduces the period of hospitalization, postoperative ileus, nausea and postoperative pain in patients with acute appendicitis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Appendectomy / methods*
  • Appendectomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome