JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Transumbilical laparoscopic-assisted "one-trocar" appendectomy -- TULAA -- as an alternative operation method in the treatment of appendicitis].

INTRODUCTION: Appendectomy is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in general surgery and laparoscopic appendectomy represents the beginning of minimal invasive era in visceral surgery. But until yet, laparoscopic appendectomy is not the standard method for removal of the appendix and the discussion about the value and the advantages of laparoscopic appendectomy is still going on between the opponents and advocates of this method. In this article we present the transumbilical laparoscopic assisted "one-trocar" appendectomy (TULAA) as an alternative procedure for appendectomy and our experiences with this technique, which is up to now not very well known in Germany.

METHOD: From November 1, 2000 to December 31, 2002, we performed appendectomy in 350 patients. 163 patients (46.6 %) underwent TULAA in the technique of Begin. All of them were examined two weeks and three months after surgery.

RESULTS: In 94.5 % the "one-trocar" appendectomy was successful and there were no intraoperative complications. The mortality was 0 %. Conversion to the open procedure was necessary in 3 patients (1.8 %), respectively introduction of accessory trocars was necessary in 6 patients (3.7 %). In 111 from 163 patients (68.1 %) appendectomy was performed because of acute appendicitis. In 14.1 % we detected additional secondary findings during the laparoscopy. The postoperative complication rate was 3.6 %.

CONCLUSION: The transumbilical laparoscopic assisted "one-trocar" appendectomy complements the minimal invasive procedures in visceral surgery. The operating technique combines the simplicity and the safety of conventional appendectomy with the survey of laparoscopic appendectomy. It minimizes the trauma of surgery and shows a perfect cosmetic result.

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