Background and Objectives: Acute appendicitis is the most common abdominal emergency requiring surgery and it has an estimated lifetime risk of 6.7 to 8.6%. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed medical care worldwide, influencing diagnostic tactics, treatment modalities and outcomes. Our study aims to compare and analyze management of acute appendicitis before and during the first and second waves of the pandemic. Materials and Methods: Patients suffering acute appendicitis were enrolled retrospectively in a single-center study for a 10-month period before the pandemic (pre-COVID-19 period: 1 March to 31 December 2019) and during the pandemic (COVID-19 period: 1 March to 31 December 2020). The total number of patients, disease severity, diagnostic methods, complications, length of hospitalization and outcomes were analyzed. Results: A total number of 863 patients were included, 454 patients in the pre-COVID-19 period and 409 patients in the COVID-19 period. Compared to the pre-COVID-19 period, the number of complicated appendicitis increased in the COVID-19 period (24.4% to 37.2%; p < 0.001). The proportion of laparoscopic appendectomies increased during the COVID-19 period but did not show statistically significant differences between periods. In both time periods, we found that open technique was the chosen surgical approach more frequently in elderly patients (p < 0.001). Generalized peritonitis was significantly more common during the COVID-19 period (3.5% vs. 6.1%, p < 0.001). The postoperative course of patients was similar in the pre-COVID-19 period and during the COVID-19 period, with no significant differences in ICU admissions, overall hospital stay or morbidity. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in complicated forms of acute appendicitis; however, no significant impact was observed in terms of diagnostic or treatment approach.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Feb 2023|
- acute appendicitis
Field of Science*
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database