Two techniques are used for laparoscopic appendectomy (LA): division of the mesoappendix with the harmonic scalpel and ligation of the appendix with an endoloop (EL), or division of the mesoappendix and appendix with an endostapler (ES). Using an ES is a cost-effective technique that provides an outcome benefit in children who require appendectomy.
Academic, tertiary care children's hospital.
Seventy-five children who underwent LA from January 1, 2002, to March 31, 2004.
Main Outcome Measures
Age, diagnosis, length of stay, surgical time, total operating room time, complications, and instrumentation costs were compared between the EL and ES groups.
There was no significant difference in age, length of stay, perforated, gangrenous, or acute appendicitis diagnoses, or complications between the groups. The surgical time and total operating room time for LA in children in the ES group were significantly shorter than in children in the EL group by 15% and 17%, respectively (P<.05). The disposable equipment costs for LA were $201 per case in the ES group vs $400 per case in the EL group. The mean 14.9-minute increase in total operating room time in children in the EL group resulted in $373 of additional operating room and anesthesia costs. The decreased disposable equipment costs and shorter surgical time of LA in the ES group led to cost savings of $572 per case as compared with children who underwent LA with an EL.
There is no significant difference in outcome between children who undergo LA with an EL or with an ES. However, this study supports the use of the ES for LA as a more cost-effective technique that is associated with reduced surgical time.