Surgical treatment of acute appendicitis in older patients
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Introduction: Acute appendicitis (AA) is the most common indication for emergency surgery and it occurs more often in children and young adults than in patients of advanced age. AA in older patients is a challenging surgical problem because of its atypical presentation. This study was performed to determine whether the age of a patient impacts the outcomes and whether laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) is a feasible method for treatment of patients > 65 years. Material and methods: We performed a retrospective study of 355 patients with AA who were admitted to the Department of General, Minimally Invasive and Elderly Surgery in Olsztyn from 2014 to 2017. The patients were divided into three age groups: 18 to 40, 41 to 65 and >65 years. The histopathological diagnoses were divided into three types: simple AA, phlegmonous AA, and gangrenous AA. Results. LA was performed in 96% of young adults and in 67% of older patients. The patients older than 65 years had higher preoperative white blood cell counts, higher C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and had a longer length of stay (LOS) than younger patients (P=0.05, P=0.03, and P=0.03, respectively). We found a positive correlation among the CRP levels, open appendectomy (OA), and gangrenous appendicitis. Conclusions: Patients older than 65 years more frequently underwent OA than LA, had higher preoperative CRP levels and had a longer LOS than younger patients. Higher CRP levels were associated with a greater risk of gangrenous appendicitis. LA is a safe and feasible treatment method for patients older than 65 years.
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