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Meta-analysis of randomized trials on single-incision laparoscopic versus conventional laparoscopic appendectomy.

BACKGROUND: Single-incision laparoscopic appendectomy has emerged as a less invasive alternative to conventional laparoscopic surgery. High-quality relevant evidence is limited.

METHODS: A systematic review of electronic information sources was undertaken, with the objective of identifying randomized trials that compared single-incision with conventional laparoscopic appendectomy. Outcome measures included 30-day morbidity, abdominal abscess, wound infection, open conversion, reoperation, operative time, length of hospital stay, and postoperative pain. Fixed-effects and random-effects models were used to calculate combined overall effect sizes of pooled data. Data are presented as odds ratios or weighted mean differences with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: Five randomized trials were identified, with a total of 746 patients. Thirty-day morbidity (9.6% vs 8.6%; odds ratio, 1.14; 95% CI, .69 to 1.89) and wound infection rates were similar between single-incision and conventional laparoscopy (4.0% vs 4.8%; odds ratio, .83; 95% CI, .41 to 1.68), whereas the duration of surgery was longer in the single-incision group (46.3 vs 40.7 minutes; weighted mean difference, 6.01; 95% CI, 2.26 to 9.76). Available data were not adequately robust to reach conclusions regarding the remaining outcome measures.

CONCLUSIONS: Similar postoperative morbidity and wound infection rates for single-incision and conventional laparoscopic appendectomy are supported by the current literature, but single-incision surgery requires longer operative time.

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