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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2009 February;64(1):9-16

language: English

Elective versus urgent laparoscopic appendectomy for complicated appendicitis

Balzarotti R., Smadja C., Saint Yves G., Carloni A., Maitre S., Helmy N., Vons C.

1 Department of Digestive Surgery Hôpital Antoine Béclère, Clamart Cedex, France
2 Department of Radiology Hôpital Antoine Béclère, Clamart Cedex, France


Aim. Urgent appendectomy in patients with acute appendicitis (AA) complicated by abscess or phlegmon is associated with a high rate of complications. Recent developments in CT scanning have allowed patients with complicated appendicitis to be better identified. We choose to treat these patients with initial antibiotic therapy followed by elective appendectomy. We reported the results of this strategy and compared it with urgent appendectomy.
Methods. A retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with complicated acute appendicitis (CAA) between 1998 and 2007 treated either by urgent appendectomy or with antibiotic therapy and elective appendectomy was performed. We assessed the efficacy of antibiotic therapy for CAA. We compared the postoperative course between urgent and elective appendectomy.
Results. We treated 56 patients with CAA: 40 by urgent appendectomy and 16 by antibiotics. All 16 patients improved with no need for urgent surgery, with 15 undergoing elective appendectomy. Postoperative complications were significantly lower in the elective group. Conversion rate and mean operative time were also lower but not significantly different. However, the duration of total hospital stay, antibiotic therapy and sick leave were higher.
Conclusion. Initial antibiotic therapy followed by elective appendectomy may be proposed in patients diagnosed with CAA.

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