Same-Day Discharge for Nonperforated Appendicitis in Children: An Updated Institutional Protocol



      The evolving demands of our current health care system for enhanced efficiency and safety while decreasing hospital length of stay has led to our institutional protocol for same-day discharge (SDD) after laparoscopic appendectomy. We have previously demonstrated a 28% rate of SDD in children with nonperforated appendicitis. The purpose of our study is to assess the effectiveness of a mature protocol for SDD by evaluating discharge success, duration of hospital stay, and readmission rates.

      Materials and methods

      A retrospective review of prospectively collected data was conducted. All children undergoing a laparoscopic appendectomy for nonperforated appendicitis at Children's Mercy Hospital between December 2015 and July 2017 were included. Patients were classified according to whether they were discharged home the same day as their operation or had an overnight stay. Demographic data, time of day the procedure was completed, postoperative length of stay, and readmission rates were abstracted from patient medical records. Comparative analysis was performed in STATA using chi-squared or Fisher exact tests for categorical variables and t-test or Wilcoxon rank sum test for continuous variables.


      A total of 569 children were included, with 87% (n = 495) discharged home the same day as their appendectomy. Of the patients discharged home the same day of surgery, their median length of postoperative stay was 4 h (IQR: 3, 5) compared with 19 h for the patients who stayed overnight (IQR: 15, 25, P < 0.0001). Approximately two-thirds of patients who had their appendectomies after 6 PM stayed overnight. In addition, patients discharged home the same day had similar hospital readmission rates compared with patients who stayed overnight (2% vs. 4%, P = 0.155).


      After laparoscopic appendectomy in children with nonperforated appendicitis, SDD not only reduces postoperative length of stay but also is not associated with higher hospital readmission rates.


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