Irrigation Versus Suction in Laparoscopic Appendectomy for Complicated Appendicitis: A Meta-Analysis

Charalampos Siotos, Konstantinos Stergios, Vishnu Prasath, Stella M. Seal, Mark D. Duncan, Joseph V. Sakran, Mehran Habibi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Acute appendicitis is currently one of the most common surgical emergencies. Intra-abdominal abscesses (IAA) are a fearsome complication, which may occur. Irrigation during the appendectomy is one of the factors suggested to affect the rates of IAA. We sought to investigate the evidence regarding the use of irrigation versus suction alone and the development of IAA after laparoscopic appendectomy for complicated appendicitis. Methods: We searched PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Cochrane, and the Web of Science through November 10, 2017, according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses guidelines. We extracted information of interest, including rates of postoperative (IAA), and performed meta-analysis using random-effects model using the RevMan software. Results: We identified five eligible studies with 2511 patients in total. Use of irrigation overall did not demonstrate significant increase in IAA (odds ratio [OR] = 2.39, 95% confidence interval [CI; 0.49, 11.74], P = 0.28). For the adult subpopulation, the use of irrigation was associated with nonsignificant lower odds of IAAs (OR = 0.42, 95% CI [0.15, 1.16]), whereas in pediatric with nonsignificant higher risk (OR = 2.98, 95% CI [0.25, 35.34]). Performance of irrigation led to the addition of, on average, 7 min to the duration of the operation (mean difference = 7.16, 95% CI [3.23, 11.09], P < 0.001). Irrigation did not affect postoperative length of stay (mean difference = −0.80, 95% CI [−2.30, 0.69], P = 0.29). Conclusions: Performance of irrigation during laparoscopic appendectomy does not seem to prevent the development of IAA in neither adults nor pediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Abscesses
  • Appendectomy
  • Irrigation
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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