Outcomes for open and laparoscopic appendicectomy for complicated appendicitis in children
Background: The study aimed to compare the outcomes of paediatric laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) with open appendectomy (OA) for complicated appendicitis (CA). All trainees could perform OA without supervision.
Methods: This is a single-centre, retrospective, non-randomised review of children 4–12 years of age, who had either an OA or LA for CA. The data was collected from August 2012 to June 2016. Nineteen surgical trainee were initially supervised by a consultant until deemed able to perform LA safely. The on-call surgeon decided on operative approach. Intra- and postoperative complications were analysed. Primary endpoint was comparison of infection rates between groups, simultaneous differences between the two procedures performed by surgical trainees and consultants were evaluated.
Results: One hundred and fifty-five patients had appendicectomy for CA during the study period. Fourteen patients with incomplete information were excluded. Ninety had OAs and 51 LAs. Both groups were well matched demographically. Postoperative infective complications occurred in 13/51 (25.5%) of the LAs, and in 23/90 (25.6%) of the OA (p = 0.159). Fourteen trainees performed 27 LAs without consultant supervision by the conclusion of the study. The mean duration of LA surgery for surgical trainees was 110.35 minutes (IQR 22.5) and for consultants 93.87 minutes (IQR 35, p = 0.497).
Conclusion: There is no difference in intra- and postoperative complications between LA and OA for CA. Duration of surgery between surgical trainees and consultants were comparable. This indicates that surgical trainees acquire LA skill over a short period of time and that LA as a laparoscopic teaching procedure merits consideration.
The South African Journal of Surgery (SAJS) reserves copyright of the material published. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial Works 4.0 South Africa License. Material submitted for publication in the SAJS is accepted provided it has not been published elsewhere. The SAJS does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.