Trans-umbilical Laparoscopic Appendectomy for Acute Appendicitis without Raising Skin-flaps: An Easy-to-use Modification Applied to the Series of 164 Patients from a Rural Institute of Central India
Background: Laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) is widely used and generally an accepted method for managing appendicitis. And the recent invention of laparoscopic trans-umbilical-appendectomy is a further improvement of LA. However, it requires expensive instruments with the requisite expertise. We discuss a useful modification of trans-umbilical appendectomy for acute appendicitis using routine instruments.
Materials and Methods: From August 2009 to March 2011, 164 patients were operated by this method at our rural center. Out of them, 102 were males and 62, females. Mean age for males was 27.5 years (range, 14-51) and females, 31.2 years (range, 17-48). Mean body mass index was 21.7 kg/m2 (range, 16.2-29) and 23.2 kg/m2 (range, 17.4-30) for males and females respectively. Acute appendicitis patients wherein surgery was deemed essential were offered this technique. Three umbilical ports (one 10 mm and two 5 mm) were strategically placed to dissect out appendix. Routine laparoscopic instruments were used for all.
Results: Mean operativetime was 45 min (range, 30-90) with 1.8% conversion-rate to conventional laparoscopy. Average blood-loss was 15 ml (range, 10-25). We had one caecal electrosurgical injury, which was managed expectantly. Umbilical sepsis and seroma were 3% and 6.1% respectively. Patients were discharged after an average 1.3 days (range, 1-4). The scars had receded in the umbilicus giving a near-scarless abdomen.
Discussion: Recently developed technique of single-port appendectomy has primarily been used for chronic appendicitis. Moreover, >1 inch incision inducted per-umbilicum rises the attendant morbidity. We study a surgeon-friendly simple technique applied to acute appendicitis.
Conclusion: Method described here is feasible and safe for managing acute appendicitis. It can be learnt rather easily (learning curve of 15 cases) by a laparoscopic surgeon and avoids expensive instrumentation. Thus, it may stand out in providing benefits of modern surgery to population of developing countries.
Key words: Acute appendicitis, Laparoscopic appendectomy, Trans-umbilical surgery