Same-day discharge vs. observation after laparoscopic pediatric appendectomy: A prospective cohort study

Kristin M. Gee, Sandra Ngo, Lorrie Burkhalter, Alana L. Beres

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Through 2015, the practice at our university based free-standing children's hospital was to admit uncomplicated appendicitis patients for overnight observation post-operatively. Given the increasing body of evidence suggesting the safety and feasibility of same-day discharge after appendectomy for uncomplicated appendicitis, we elected to perform a prospective study evaluating the complication rates of same-day discharge compared to overnight observation at our institution, given our large volume of appendicitis. Methods: Pediatric patients who underwent laparoscopic appendectomies for uncomplicated appendicitis in 2016 were analyzed. Data regarding demographics, admission, and discharge times and outcomes of complications, as well as readmissions, return to the emergency department, and nonscheduled clinic visits were collected and analyzing using chi-square and multivariate regression. Cost of stay data was obtained and analyzed using Mann-Whitney U test to compare non-parametric variables. Results: Eight hundred and forty-nine laparoscopic appendectomies were performed for uncomplicated appendicitis during the study period, of which 382 resulted in same-day discharge and 467 in an admission for observation. Univariate analysis revealed no statistical difference between readmission rates for same day vs. observation (2 vs. 6 patients; P=0.21) or in emergency department visits within 30 days (22 vs. 27 patients; P=0.98). There was no difference in the number of surgical site infections or extra clinic visits. There was a significantly lower median cost of stay for patients discharged home the same day at 29,150 dollars (25,644, 32,276, IQR) compared to a median of 34,827 dollars (31,154, 39,457, IQR) (P<0.0001). Conclusions: Same-day discharge for laparoscopic uncomplicated appendectomy should be the new standard of care. This study found no differences in outcomes between the timing of discharge, with a significantly lower cost of stay for patients discharged home the same day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA12
JournalTranslational Gastroenterology and Hepatology
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Ambulatory surgical procedure
  • Appendectomy
  • Appendicitis
  • Pediatric
  • Same-day discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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