Laparoscopic appendectomy versus open appendectomy for suspected appendicitis during pregnancy: a systematic review and updated meta-analysis

Seung Hwan Lee, Jin Young Lee, Yoon Young Choi, Jae Gil Lee
BMC Surgery 2019 April 25, 19 (1): 41

BACKGROUND: Recently, laparoscopic appendectomies (LAs) have been widely performed instead of open appendectomies (OAs) during pregnancy. However, concerns about the safety of LA during pregnancy remain. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the current evidence relating to the safety of LA versus OA for suspected appendicitis during pregnancy.

METHODS: Comprehensive literature searches were conducted using the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases to identify articles describing LA versus OA in pregnancy, without restrictions regarding the publication date. The primary endpoints were fetal loss and preterm delivery.

RESULTS: After screening 801 studies, 22 comparative cohort studies were included in the analysis, which involved 4694 women, of whom 905 underwent LAs and 3789 underwent OAs. Fetal loss was significantly higher among those who underwent LAs compared with those who underwent OAs, and the pooled odds ratio (OR) was 1.72 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.22-2.42) without heterogeneity. The sensitivity analysis showed that the effect size was influenced by one of the studies, because its removal resulted in there being no significant difference between LA and OA with respect to the risk of fetal loss (OR 1.163, 95% CI: 0.68-1.99; P = 0.581). A significant difference was not evident between LA and OA with respect to preterm delivery (OR 0.76, 95% CI: 0.51-1.15), a result that did not change following the sensitivity analysis. The patients who underwent LA had shorter hospital stays (mean difference - 1.01, 95% CI: -1.61--0.41) and a lower wound infection risk (OR 0.40, 95% CI: 0.21-0.76) compared with those who underwent OA.

CONCLUSION: It is not reasonable to conclude that LA in pregnant women might be associated with a greater risk of fetal loss. The difference between LA and OA with respect to preterm delivery was not significant.

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