The impact of disease severity, age and surgical approach on the outcome of acute appendicitis in children

A. L. van den Boom, R. R. Gorter, P. M. M. van Haard, P. G. Doornebosch, H. A. Heij, I. Dawson

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Although a national guideline has been implemented, the optimal approach for appendectomy in children remains subject of debate in the Netherlands. Opponents of laparoscopy raise their concerns regarding its use in complex appendicitis as it is reported to be associated with an increased incidence of intra-abdominal abscesses. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of surgical approaches in both simple and complex appendicitis in paediatric patients. A 10-year retrospective cohort study was performed (2001-2010) in paediatric patients treated for suspected acute appendicitis. Patients were divided into either simple or complex appendicitis and into different age groups. Primary outcome parameters were complication rate (intra-abdominal abscess (IAA), superficial surgical site infection (SSI) and readmission) and hospital stay. In total, 878 patients have been treated (median age 12, range 0-17 years). Two-thirds of the patients younger than 6 years had complex appendicitis, compared to one quarter in the group aged 13-18. In the complex appendicitis group, LA was associated with more IAA and early readmissions. In the simple appendicitis group, the complication rate was comparable between the two approaches. Significantly more IAAs were seen after LA in the youngest age group. This study demonstrates the unfavourable outcome of LA in the youngest age group and in patients with complex appendicitis. Therefore, we advise to treat these patients with an open approach
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-345
JournalPediatric surgery international
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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