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June 1983

Incidental Appendectomy in Infants and Children: Risk v Rationale

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, UCLA (Dr Mulvihill), University of Southern California and Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles (Dr Woolley), Los Angeles; and the Department of Surgery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (Dr Goldthorn).

Arch Surg. 1983;118(6):714-716. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390060036008

• Between January 1977 and December 1979 (three years), 642 appendectomies were performed at the Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles. Two hundred seventy-two of the appendectomies were performed incidentally at the time of another abdominal operative procedure. Using known incidence of appendicitis, approximately 54 cases of acute appendicitis may have been obviated. In three patients, wound infections developed. Twenty-four of the appendices were histologically normal and 30 were abnormal in a clinically insignificant respect. If incidental appendectomy is appropriate in the age group, it is of more benefit to the pediatric patient because of the frequency of appendicitis in patients under 20 years of age.

(Arch Surg 1983;118:714-716)

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