Title

Intra-abdominal Abscess After Appendectomy-Are Drains Necessary in All Patients?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2020

Identifier

DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2020.05.016

Abstract

Background: Research has shown that patients who develop a postoperative intra-abdominal abscess (PIAA) after appendectomy have a greater number of health care visits with drain placement. Our institution developed an algorithm to limit drain placement for only abscesses with a size >20 cm2. We sought to determine the adherence to and effectiveness of this algorithm.

Methods: This prospective observational study included patients aged 2-18 y old who developed a PIAA from September 2017 to June 2019. Outcomes were compared between patients with a small or large abscess. Analysis was performed in STATA; P < 0.05 was significant.

Results: Thirty patients were included. The median age was 10.6 y (7, 11.7); 60% were men, and 60% were Caucasian. The median duration of symptoms before diagnosis of appendicitis was 3 d (2, 6). Thirteen patients (43%) were diagnosed with a PIAA while still inpatient, and 17 (57%) were readmitted at a later date. After algorithm implementation, 95% (n = 19) of patients with a large abscess had aspiration ± drain placement, whereas 30% (n = 3) with a small abscess underwent drainage. Length of stay after abscess diagnosis, total duration of antibiotics, and number of health care visits were the same between groups. One patient with a small abscess required reoperation for an obstruction, whereas one patient with a large abscess that was drained was readmitted for a recurrent abscess.

Conclusions: Small PIAA can be successfully managed without intervention. Our proposed algorithm can assist in determining which patients can be treated with antibiotics alone.

Journal Title

The Journal of surgical research

Volume

254

First Page

384

Last Page

389

Keywords

Pediatrics; Perforated appendicitis; Postoperative abscess

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