-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A delay of 12 or more
hours before removing the appendix of patients with acute
appendicitis does not lead to poorer outcomes, a new study
U.S. researchers analyzed national data from 32,782 patients
with acute appendicitis who underwent an appendectomy between 2005
and 2008. Of those patients, 75.2 percent had surgery within six
hours of being admitted to the hospital, 15.1 percent had surgery
within six to 12 hours, and 9.8 percent had surgery after more than
Operation times were slightly longer for patients who waited
more than 12 hours for their surgery: 55 minutes compared with 50
minutes for those who had their surgery within six to 12 hours, and
51 minutes for those who had surgery within six hours. These
differences were not clinically meaningful, Dr. Angela M. Ingraham,
of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago, and colleagues
noted in the report.
Hospital stays were also longer for patients who waited more
than 12 hours: 2.2 days compared with 1.8 days for the other two
groups. Again, this difference was not clinically significant.
Thirty days after surgery, there were no significant differences
in outcomes or deaths between the three groups, according to the
report published in the September issue of the journal
Archives of Surgery.
The researchers noted that advances in non-surgical treatment of
appendicitis has potentially reduced the need for immediate
surgical removal of the appendix.
Ingraham's team added that increasing demands for emergency
surgery mean that less critically ill patients may have to wait
while surgeons help patients requiring immediate attention.
"Appendectomy is the most common emergent surgical procedure performed worldwide, with appendicitis accounting for approximately 1 million hospital days annually," the authors wrote as background information in the article.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
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