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Surgery Research and Practice
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4120214, 5 pages
Research Article

Laparoscopic versus Open Surgery in Complicated Appendicitis in Children Less Than 5 Years Old: A Six-Year Single-Centre Experience

Division of Pediatric General, Thoracic & Minimally Invasive Surgery, AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza, Regina Margherita Children’s Hospital, Turin, Italy

Received 6 April 2016; Revised 5 August 2016; Accepted 8 August 2016

Academic Editor: Ahmed H. Al-Salem

Copyright © 2016 R. Guanà et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Acute appendicitis is the most common surgical emergency in the pediatric population. The peak incidence occurs in the first decade of life, while it is uncommon to face appendicitis in children younger than 5 years of age. Laparoscopy is now demonstrated to be the optimal approach also to treat complicated appendicitis, but in very young children this standardized operation is not always easy to perform. Material and Methods. From January 2009 to December 2015 we operated on 525 acute appendicitis, with 120 patients less than 5 years of age. Results. 90 children had a complicated appendicitis (localized or diffuse peritonitis): 43 (48%) were operated on by open approach and 47 (52%) by laparoscopy. The overall incidence of postoperative complications was greater in the open appendectomy group (63% versus 26%) and all severe complications requiring reintervention (6% of cases: 3 postoperative abscesses resolved with ultrasound guided percutaneous abscess drainage; 1 tubal surgery for salpingitis; 1 adhesion-related ileus requiring relaparotomy) were mostly associated with open surgery. Conclusions. Laparoscopic surgery resulted as the best approach for treating complicated appendicitis also in younger children, with minor and less severe postoperative complications compared to open surgery.