World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 405–414 | Cite as

The Unacceptable Morbidity of Negative Laparoscopic Appendicectomy

  • Matthew G. R. Allaway
  • Guy D. Eslick
  • Michael R. CoxEmail author
Original Scientific Report



One of the most common acute conditions managed by general surgeons is acute appendicitis. Laparoscopic appendicectomy (LA) is the surgical technique used by many surgeons. The aims of this study were to define our unit’s negative appendicectomy rate and compare the outcomes associated with removal of a normal appendix with those for acute appendicitis in patients having LA.


A single-centre retrospective case note review of patients undergoing LA for suspected acute appendicitis was performed. Patients were divided into positive and negative appendicectomy groups based on histology results. The positive group was subdivided into uncomplicated and complicated (perforated and/or gangrenous) appendicitis. Outcomes were compared between groups.


There were 1413 patients who met inclusion criteria, 904 in the positive group and 509 in the negative group, an overall negative appendicectomy rate of 36.0%. Morbidity rates (6.3% vs. 6.9%; P = 0.48) and types of morbidity were the same for negative appendicectomy and uncomplicated appendicitis. There was no significant difference in complication severity (all P > 0.17) or length of stay (2.3 vs. 2.6 days; P = 0.06) between negative appendicectomy and uncomplicated appendicitis groups. Patients with complicated appendicitis had a significantly higher morbidity rate compared to negative and uncomplicated groups (20.1% vs. 6.3% and 20.1% vs. 6.9%; both P < 0.001).


The morbidity of negative LA is the same as LA for uncomplicated appendicitis. The morbidity of LA for complicated appendicitis is significantly higher. The selection criteria for LA in our unit needs to be reviewed to address the high negative appendicectomy rate and avoid unnecessary surgery and its associated morbidity.


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

All authors have declared that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew G. R. Allaway
    • 1
  • Guy D. Eslick
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael R. Cox
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Sydney Medical SchoolThe University of Sydney, Nepean HospitalPenrithAustralia
  2. 2.The Whiteley-Martin Research Centre, Nepean HospitalPenrithAustralia

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