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Influence of Appendectomy Timing in the Pathological Outcome and the Morbidity of Acute Appendicitis in Children: A Retrospective Study

Introduction: Surgery is indicated for acute appendicitis but there is controversy regarding precise timing for appendectomy.

Objective: Our aim was to evaluate the impact of time delay from emergency department presentation to surgery in developing complicated appendicitis in children and associated morbidity.

Methods: 540 charts of children, who underwent appendectomy, between January 2013 and December 2016 were retrospectively reviewed. Groups were divided by time of intervention. Group 1: less than 24h (n=209, 38.7%), group 2: 24h to 48h (n=293, 54.5%), and group 3: greater than 48h (n=38, 6.8%). We considered complicated appendicitis gangrenous, abscess or perforated appendix per operatively and on histopathologic examination. Statically analysis and was performed to search the predictors of complicated appendicitis and evaluate postoperative complications.

Results: Among 540 children included in the study, 164 (30.4%) had complicated acute appendicitis. There was no correlation between delay to surgery and the risk of developing a complicated form of the disease for group 1 and Group 2. Beyond the 48th h (group 3), the rate of developing complicated appendicitis and post-operative complications increased significantly. Hospital stay was not affected by delayed surgery.

Conclusion: A short in-hospital delay before surgery less than 48 h, for acute appendicitis in child, is not associated with an increased rate of complex appendicitis neither associated morbidity.


Zitouni H, Louati H, Nasri A, Ammar S, Dhaou MB, Jallouli M and Mhiri R

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