JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Does laparoscopic appendectomy have advantages? Laparoscopic appendectomy in comparison with conventional appendectomy--an observational study during introduction of laparoscopy].

From October 1990 to October 1992 the first 23 laparoscopically operated patients were recorded. 11 patients retrospectively including a supplementary questioning to missing data, 12 patients prospectively with a follow-up 6-8 weeks later. They were compared with 35 from April 1991 to April 1992 conventionally operated and prospectively observed patients. Laparoscopy was performed on patients with subacute clinical signs. The median age was comparable. Acute appendicitis was histologically confirmed in 18% of the laparoscopically and in 80% of the conventionally operated patients. Operating time was in mean 110 minutes for laparoscopic and 65 minutes for open appendectomy. The postoperative complications for laparoscopy included 4 Douglas abscesses (2 x open and 2 x pararectal revisions), one peritonitis due to a defect Roeder-loop and an haematoma of the abdominal wall. One case of wound infection (3%), one pericoecal abscess which needed an ileoascendostomy and a postoperative fatigue syndrome were recorded for open appendectomy. The postoperative return to normal diet was faster for laparoscopy. Return to normal bowel habits, the need of analgesia and the nominal analogue scales concerning pain, quality of sleep, well-being and appetite showed no obvious differences between the two operation methods. The postoperative stay was on average 6.7 days for laparoscopy and 5.6 days for the open operation. The results show the severe complications which may happen when introducing this new operation method. The laparoscopic appendectomy should only be performed electively in subacute appendicitis or when diagnostic exploration shows an inflamed appendix. Careful rinsing of the operation site and perioperative antibiotic treatment are mandatory. We made good experiences when using a stapler for the removal of the appendix.

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