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Laparoscopic versus open appendicectomy for complicated appendicitis in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis

      Abstract

      Background

      Laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) is the preferred approach in uncomplicated appendicitis. However, in patients with complicated appendicitis (CA), the best approach is still unclear though laparoscopy is being increasingly preferred over open appendicectomy (OA) nowadays.

      Aim

      To comprehensively review the current literature and compare the associations of LA and OA concerning various postoperative outcomes in order to determine the best approach for children with CA.

      Methods

      The PRISMA guidelines were adhered to and an electronic database search was extensively performed. Data analysis, including subgroup analysis of randomized-control trials, was performed using RevMan 5.3. Methodological and statistical heterogeneity, as well as publication bias of the included studies, were assessed.

      Results

      Four randomized controlled trials (266 LA versus 354 OA) and thirty-six case-controlled trials (2580 LA versus 3043 OA) were included in the analysis. Compared to OA, LA has a shorter length of stay, a lower rate of surgical site infection as well as a significantly lower overall complication rate. The rates of intraabdominal abscess formation, post-operative fever, pneumonia and ileus are similar in the two groups. So are the rates of readmissions and reoperations. LA was also shown to have a shorter time taken to oral intake and a lesser requirement of analgesics as well as intravenous antibiotics. Operative time for OA was found to be significantly shorter than that for LA.

      Conclusion

      This meta-analysis objectively demonstrates that laparoscopy has a better overall complication profile compared to OA and should be the procedure of choice in children with complicated appendicitis.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      aa (acute appendicitis), Ca (complicated appendicitis), Cct (case controlled trials), Ci (confidence interval), Iaa (intra-abdominal abscess), Io (intestinal obstruction), La (laparoscopic appendicectomy), Los (length of stay), Md (mean difference), Minors (methodological index for non-randomized studies), OA (open appendicectomy), OR (odds ratio), OT (operative time), RCT (randomized controlled trials), RIF (right iliac fossa), TTOI (time taken to oral intake), WMD (weighted mean difference)
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