Same-day discharge after appendectomy for acute appendicitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Purpose: Patients presenting with acute appendicitis are usually hospitalized for a few days for appendectomy and postoperative recovery. Shortening length of stay may reduce costs and improve patient satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to assess the safety of same-day discharge after appendectomy for acute appendicitis. Methods: A systematic review was performed according to PRISMA guidelines. A literature search of EMBASE, Ovid MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane Central, and Google Scholar was conducted from inception to April 14, 2020. Two reviewers independently screened the literature and selected studies that addressed discharge on the same calendar day as the appendectomy. Risk of bias was assessed with the ROBINS-I tool. Main outcomes were hospital readmission, complications, and unplanned hospital visits in the postoperative course. A random effects model was used to pool risk ratios for the main outcomes. Results: Of the 1912 articles screened, 17 comparative studies and 8 non-comparative studies met the inclusion criteria. Most only included laparoscopic procedure for uncomplicated appendicitis. Most studies were considered at moderate or serious risk of bias. In meta-analysis, same-day discharge (vs. overnight hospitalization) was not associated with increased rates of readmission, complication, and unplanned hospital visits. Non-comparative studies demonstrated low rates of readmission, complications, and unplanned hospital visits after same-day discharge. Conclusion: This study suggests that same-day discharge after laparoscopic appendectomy for uncomplicated appendicitis is safe without an increased risk of readmission, complications, or unplanned hospital visits. Hence, same-day discharge may be further encouraged in selected patients. Trial registration: PROSPERO registration no.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1309
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
EW and AB were supported by a grant from ZonMw (The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development; project no. 848015008). ZonMw had no role in the design or conduct of this study.

Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s).


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