Does Peritoneal Lavage Influence the Rate of Complications Following Pediatric Laparoscopic Appendicectomy in Children with Complicated Appendicitis? A Prospective Randomized Clinical Trial

Ramesh M. Nataraja, Gayathri Panabokke, Annette D. Chang, Nicole Mennie, Sharman Tan Tanny, Charles Keys, Wei Cheng, Maurizio Pacilli, Peter Ferguson

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Background: There is ongoing debate concerning the use of peritoneal irrigation in the setting of complicated appendicitis (CA) in children. Our aim was to conduct a prospective randomized controlled trial for the treatment of CA during a laparoscopic appendicectomy in children. Methods: Following ethical approval (REC10138B), pediatric patients (≤ 16 years old) were recruited from a single institution over a 3-year time period (2015–2018). Randomization occurred following intraoperative diagnosis of CA to either peritoneal lavage (PL) or suction only (SO). Primary outcome was the length of stay (LoS), and secondary outcomes were the presence of a postoperative intraabdominal abscess (IAA), wound infection (WI), or adhesive small bowel obstruction (ASBO). Data are reported as number of cases (%), median (range), odds ratio [OR] and analyzed using t-test and Fisher's exact test. A p-value ≤ 0.05 was considered significant. Results: A total of 100 pediatric patients were recruited into the trial. Sixteen were excluded owing to either recruitment or protocol violations, and therefore a total of 86 underwent final analysis: 44 PL and 42 SO. There was no significant difference in the LoS: 5.7 (PL) vs 5.6 (SO) days, p = 0.75. Only 1 IAA occurred in the PL group: 1/44(2.3%) vs 0/42(0%), p = 1.0. There was 1 ASBOs in the PL group (2.3%, p = 1.0) and no WIs in either of the groups. Conclusion: This prospective randomized control trial has revealed equivalence in techniques for the treatment of complicated appendicitis. It has also revealed a low complication rate following pediatric LA with either PL or SO. Type of study: Randomized controlled trial. Level of evidence: Level I.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2524-2527
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Appendicitis
  • Complicated appendicitis
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Peritoneal lavage
  • Peritoneal washout

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