We hypothesized that immediate laparoscopic surgery for appendiceal abscess would result in faster recovery than conservative treatment.
On the basis of the retrospective studies, conservative management of appendiceal abscess is recommended as a first line treatment, but some controversy exists.
Sixty adult patients diagnosed with appendiceal abscess were randomly assigned to either laparoscopic surgery (n = 30) or conservative treatment (n = 30). Hospital stay, recurrences, additional interventions, and complications within 60 days from randomization were recorded.
There was no difference in hospital stay: 4 days (interquartile range: 3–5 days) in the laparoscopy
group versus 5 days (3–8) in the conservative group, P
= 0.105. Patients in the laparoscopy
group had 10% risk for bowel resection and 13% risk for incomplete appendectomy. There were significantly fewer patients with unplanned readmissions in the laparoscopy
group: 1 (3%) versus 8 (27%), P
= 0.026. Additional interventions were required in 2 (7%) patients in the laparoscopy
group (percutaneous drainage
) and in 9 (30%) patients in the conservative group (surgery), P
= 0.042. Recurrent abscesses and failure to respond to conservative treatment were the main reasons for additional interventions. Open surgery was required in 3 (10%) patients in the laparoscopy
group and in 4 (13%) patients in the conservative group. Postoperative complications occurred in 3 patients in laparoscopic group versus 2 patients in the conservative group. The rate of uneventful recovery was 90% in the laparoscopy
group versus 50% in the conservative group, P
Laparoscopic surgery in experienced hands is safe and feasible first-line treatment for appendiceal abscess. It is associated with fewer readmissions and fewer additional interventions than conservative treatment with comparable hospital stay.