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National trends in the surgical management of Meckel's diverticulum.

BACKGROUND: Treatment recommendations for Meckel's diverticulum (MD) come mostly from single-institution case series. The objective of this study was to review the surgical management and outcomes of children undergoing Meckel's diverticulectomy using contemporary data from a national database.

METHODS: We queried 2007 to 2008 data from the Pediatric Health Information System database and analyzed demographic and outcome variables for patients undergoing surgical resection of MD. Cases were classified as primary (symptomatic MD) or secondary (incidental MD). Outcomes in primary cases were compared between open and laparoscopic approaches. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS (Chicago, IL).

RESULTS: Eight hundred fifteen children underwent Meckel's diverticulectomy. Meckel's diverticulectomy was more common in boys (boy-girl, 2.3:1), and half (53%) of the children required surgery before their fourth birthday. More cases (n = 485; 60%) were classified as primary, and most children were approached by laparotomy (75%). The most common presentations for primary cases were obstruction (30%), bleeding (27%), and intussusception (19%). In the primary group, patients treated with the laparoscopic approach had a shorter length of stay (open approach, 5.7 ± 5.2 days; laparoscopic approach, 4.3 ± 2.7 days; P < .02).

CONCLUSION: These data describe current trends in the surgical treatment of MD in the United States. Laparoscopic Meckel's diverticulectomy appears to shorten length of stay but is used much less frequently than the traditional open approach.

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