Complicated appendicitis: Immediate operation or trial of nonoperative management?

Neha Nimmagadda, Kazuhide Matsushima, Alice Piccinini, Caroline Park, Aaron Strumwasser, Lydia Lam, Kenji Inaba, Demetrios Demetriades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: The optimal treatment for complicated appendicitis remains controversial. We sought to compare clinical outcomes of patients with complicated appendicitis treated with an immediate operation or a trial of nonoperative management. Methods: Adult patients (≥18 years) with complicated appendicitis were included. Patient characteristics and outcomes were compared between the immediate operation group and the nonoperative management group. Results: A total of 101 patients met our inclusion criteria. Of those, 36 patients received an initial trial of nonoperative management with an 86.1% success rate. Patients who failed nonoperative management required significantly longer hospital stays than those in the immediate operation group (11 vs. 5 days). An immediate operation was performed in 65 patients. Open surgery was required in 9 patients (13.8%). Postoperatively, 7 patients (10.8%) required percutaneous drainage of intraabdominal abscess. Conclusions: Nonoperative management was successful in the majority of patients with complicated appendicitis, whereas failure of nonoperative management was associated with prolonged hospital stay. Patients who underwent an immediate operation often required percutaneous drainage of intraabdominal abscess.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-717
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Complicated appendicitis
  • Immediate operation
  • Nonoperative management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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