BACKGROUND AND AIMS: During the last decades, laparoscopic surgery has been introduced as an alternative to open surgery. We aimed to examine to what extent laparoscopic surgery has replaced open surgery for appendicitis in an entire nation during the last two decades. Second, we examined the effects of shifting to laparoscopic surgery for appendicitis on different quality indicators such as length of postoperative stay and mortality. We also examined age as a predictor of 30-day mortality.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: During the period 2000 to 2015, all adult patients with appendicitis and surgical removal of the appendix were identified in the Danish National Patient Register. Demographics, type of surgery, time of surgery, and duration of postoperative stay were retrieved form Danish National Patient Register. Vital status was retrieved from the Danish Civil Registration System.
RESULTS: A total of 58,093 patients underwent surgery for appendicitis. In 2000, a total of 274 out of 3717 (7.4%) had a laparoscopic appendectomy, and the postoperative stay was 55 (iqr: 35-88) h and 30-day mortality was 0.91%. In 2015, a total of 3995 out of 4296 (93.0%) had a laparoscopic appendectomy, and the postoperative stay was 16 (iqr: 9-56) h and 30-day mortality was 0.40%. Age as a predictor of 30-day postoperative mortality had an area under the curve of 0.93 (95% confidence interval: 0.92; 0.94).
CONCLUSION: In Denmark, the standard surgical procedure for appendicitis has changed from open surgery to laparoscopic surgery during the period 2000-2015. At the same time, duration of postoperative stay and 30-day mortality has decreased.