Surgical treatment of acute appendicitis in pandemic: COVID -19 collateral damage

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María C. Barreiro
Tomás Lancelotti
Roberto Salgado
David Solinas
Manuela Rodríguez Olivieri
Micaela Goya
Milena Napolitano
Ricardo L. Oddi


Background: COVID-19 pandemic has generated changes regarding the management of patients with all kind of pathologies. Here we show the experience concerning the surgical treatment of acute appendicitis (AA) in a teaching hospital in the city of Buenos Aires during the lockdown, and its comparison with the same period of 2019 in order to assess the differences between the timing for consultation, intraoperative findings and the treatment outcome.
Material and methods: A prospective database was retrospectively analyzed. We compared patients undergoing surgical treatment for AA in March-July of 2019 v. March-July 2020, taking into account the preoperative period and comparing the outcome regarding the surgical intervention and the impact in the postoperative period between the two groups.
Results: 127 patients were included, 46 treated during the pandemic. Patients undergoing surgical treatment during the pandemic had a higher incidence of peritonitis (61.7% vs. 76.1%; p = 0.09) and higher requirement of abdominal drainage (9.9% vs. 23.9%; p = 0.03). There was an increase in the incidence of complications (10.9 vs. 4.9%; p: 0.21), reoperations (8.7 vs. 1.23%, p: 0.03), readmissions
(6.5 vs. 0%, p: 0.02) and need for out-patient intravenous antibiotics (6.5 vs. 0%; p: 0.02). The average hospital length was of 1.89 (SD 2.04) and 3.24 (SD 7.31) for the groups operated before and during pandemic, respectively.


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Barreiro , M. C., Lancelotti, T., Salgado, R., Solinas, D., Rodríguez Olivieri, M., Goya, M., Napolitano, M., & Oddi, R. L. (2021). Surgical treatment of acute appendicitis in pandemic: COVID -19 collateral damage. Revista Argentina De Cirugía, 112(4), 450–458. (Original work published March 16, 2021)
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