Background: Appendicitis is the most common gastrointestinal pediatric surgical emergency. With the introduction of laparoscopic techniques in the 1990s, recovery, pain, and hospital stay after laparoscopic procedures have been significantly reduced. While many laparoscopic procedures are performed as outpatient surgeries, pediatric appendectomy patients continue to be hospitalized for postoperative observation. Our goal was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of same day discharge after laparoscopic appendectomy for uncomplicated appendicitis. Methods: After IRB approval, all pediatric patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy during 2016 for noncomplicated appendicitis were eligible for the study. Decision for same day discharge was based on surgeon preference and parental agreement. Data regarding demographics, admission and discharge times, outcomes of complications, readmissions, return to the ED, and nonscheduled clinic visits were collected. Results: A total of 1321 appendectomies were performed during the study period, of which 849 were uncomplicated and 382 were discharged same day. There were 2 readmissions, 4 superficial surgical site infections, 10 patients with nausea or vomiting, and 33 patients with pain control issues, 9 of whom presented to the ED. Conclusions: Same day discharge for laparoscopic noncomplicated appendectomy is a safe and feasible alternative to postoperative admission and observation. This has the potential to yield significant healthcare cost savings. Level of Evidence: Level II, Prospective Cohort Study.
- Ambulatory surgical procedure
- Same day discharge
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health