Purpose: Our aim was to compare postoperative outcomes of laparoscopic and open appendectomies for acute appendicitis in children under the circumstance of widespread use of laparoscopic surgery. Method: This study included data on laparoscopic and open appendectomies in children with acute appendicitis from the National Clinical Database, which is a Japanese nationwide surgical database, in 2015. The occurrence rates of complications within 30 days after the surgery and postoperative hospital stay were compared by univariate and multivariate analyses. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: This study included 4489 appendectomies, of which 3166 surgeries (70.5%) were performed laparoscopically. Appendectomy was performed for complicated and uncomplicated appendicitis in 1765 (39.3%) and 2724 cases (60.7%), respectively. Postoperative complications within 30 days were observed in 246 operations (5.5%). Organ-space surgical site infection (SSI), deep wound SSIs, and superficial wound SSIs were observed in 2.3%, 1.0%, and 2.4% of operations, respectively. On multivariate analysis, the incidence of postoperative complications (odds ratio 1.21, 95% CI 0.90–1.64, p = 0.207) and the length of hospital stay (median 4 days in both groups, p = 0.835) were not significantly different between patients who underwent laparoscopic or open appendectomy. Subgroup analysis in complicated and uncomplicated appendicitis cases also demonstrated no significant differences in the incidence of postoperative complications between those who underwent laparoscopic or open appendectomy. Conclusion: This study suggested that the occurrence of postoperative complication and the length of hospital stay in pediatric patients who underwent laparoscopic appendectomy are similar with those in pediatric patients who underwent open appendectomy for acute appendicitis.
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