Primary Article

Prospective Analysis of the Effect of Incidental Appendectomy on Infection Rate After Cholecystectomy



ABSTRACT: I prospectively studied 100 patients to see whether “incidental appendectomy” with cholecystectomy affects wound infection rate. Randomization resulted in groups similar in age, habitus, and sex. Forty-seven patients had appendectomy. The most frequent gallbladder disease was chronic calculous cholecystitis. Positive cultures were obtained from 11% of gallbladders. The mean age of patients with gallbladder bacteria was 14.5 years older than that of the series. True pathologic changes were seen in 6% of appendices. Average operative time was extended six minutes by appendectomy. Length of postoperative hospital stay was unchanged by the addition of appendectomy. There were no infections in the patients without appendectomy and one (2%) in the group with appendectomy. The total 1% infection rate is considerably below most reported rates. There was no difference in infection rate between groups with and without appendectomy (P = .47). Unless the procedure is technically difficult, appendectomy with elective cholecystectomy does not increase the chance of infection.

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