Laparoscopic appendicectomy: safe and useful for training.
Duff SE, Dixon AR.
Department of General Surgery, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, UK. email@example.com
Debate exists about the benefits of laparoscopic appendicectomy when compared to a conventional open procedure. The majority of appendices are removed by the open route in the UK. We report a series of 132 cases of suspected appendicitis managed laparoscopically: 112 (85%) of the patients had acute appendicitis, the remaining 20 (15%) had non-appendiceal pathology. The median operative time was 30 min and there were no conversions to an open operative procedure. The median postoperative stay was two days. Complications were seen in two patients. The published evidence comparing laparoscopic and open appendicectomy is contradictory. Our series shows that laparoscopic appendicectomy is a safe procedure with low morbidity; it is also an excellent training tool in laparoscopic technique and, with sufficient experience, takes no longer than an open procedure. Negative appendicocecotomies are most common in women of fertile age and can be associated with significant morbidity; therefore, laparoscopy should be used to make the diagnosis and, if appendicitis is the cause, the appendix could safely be removed laparoscopically. However, the choice between open and laparoscopic procedure is a subjective decision for the patient and their surgeon. Laparoscopic appendicectomy cannot be regarded as the gold standard.