Pathology findings following interval appendectomy: Should it stay or go?

Dina Fouad, Jeremy D. Kauffman, Nicole M. Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Interval appendectomy following nonoperative management of complicated appendicitis remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate surgical pathology and clinical outcomes after pediatric interval appendectomy. Methods: Pathology results from children with complicated appendicitis who underwent interval appendectomy at a single children's hospital from 2010 to 2017 were reviewed. The primary outcome was pathology results. Secondary outcomes included complications and readmission following initial treatment and after interval appendectomy. Results: Among 149 patients (median age 11 years; range, 1–18), all had evidence of persistent inflammation on surgical pathology, 25 (17%) had an appendicolith, and no neoplasms were identified. Median duration of the initial admission was 8 days (range, 2–28) and 70% received a percutaneous drain prior to appendectomy. Interval appendectomy was performed at a median of 7.5 weeks (range, 2.9–29.1). Thirty-six (24%) returned to the hospital prior to their scheduled appendectomy and 6 (4%) required appendectomy earlier than planned. Nine patients (6%) experienced a complication following interval appendectomy, of which superficial surgical site infection was the most common (n = 4). Conclusion: All children had evidence of ongoing inflammation on surgical pathology. While the clinical implications of persistent inflammation remain uncertain, these findings suggest that interval appendectomy is an appropriate treatment following medical management of complicated appendicitis in children. Level of Evidence section: IV, Case series with no comparison groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-741
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Appendectomy
  • Appendicitis
  • Pediatrics
  • Postoperative complications
  • Surgical pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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