Infectious Complications After Laparoscopic Appendectomy in Pediatric Patients with Perforated Appendicitis: Is There a Difference in the Outcome Using Irrigation and Suction Versus Suction Only? Results of a Multicentric International Retrospective Study.

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DOI: 10.1089/lap.2018.0061


BACKGROUND: Analyzing the recent literature, it seems that the use of irrigation increases the incidence of intra-abdominal abscesses (IAAs) and infectious complications in perforated appendicitis. The aim of this study was to compare peritoneal irrigation and suction versus suction only during laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) for perforated appendicitis in children.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 699 patients (460 boys and 239 girls, average age 9.8 years) who underwent LA for complicated appendicitis in six international centers of pediatric surgery over a 5-year period. The appendix was perforated with localized peritonitis in 465 cases and diffuse peritonitis in 234 patients. Irrigation + suction was used in 488 cases (group 1 [G1]), whereas suction only was used in 211 cases (group 2 [G2]).

RESULTS: No significant difference between the two groups was found in regard to average operative time (P = .23), average time of resumption of oral diet (P = .55), average reprise of gastrointestinal transit (P = .55), and average length of hospital stay (P = .41). As for postoperative complications, the incidence of IAAs was significantly higher in G2 (41/211; 19.4%) compared with G1 (38/488; 7.7%) (P = .0000), whereas no significant difference was found between the two groups in regard to wound infection (G1: n = 2 or 0.4%; G2: n = 4 or 1.8%; P = .05) and small bowel obstruction rates (G1: n = 8 or 1.6%; G2: n = 2 or 0.9%; P = .47).

CONCLUSIONS: In contrast with the most recent literature on this topic, our results demonstrated that peritoneal irrigation and suction were associated with a lower rate of postoperative IAA formation compared with the suction-only approach in children with perforated appendicitis. In such cases, peritoneal irrigation and abdominal drainage should be the preferred methods for peritoneal toilette, with no increase in operative time and postoperative morbidity.

Journal Title

Journal of laparoendoscopic & advanced surgical techniques. Part A





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MeSH Keywords

Appendectomy; Appendicitis; Child; Combined Modality Therapy; Female; Humans; Incidence; Laparoscopy; Length of Stay; Male; Operative Time; Peritoneal Lavage; Peritoneum; Peritonitis; Postoperative Complications; Postoperative Period; Retrospective Studies; Suction; Treatment Outcome


children; complicated appendicitis; irrigation; laparoscopy; suction

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