Obesity is not associated with increased resource utilization or morbidity in patients undergoing appendectomy.

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BACKGROUND: Obesity is a growing public health concern that places patients at risk of morbidity and mortality following surgery. We sought to determine whether obesity influences our resource utilization and postoperative outcomes for patients who present with appendicitis.

METHODS: Charts were reviewed for patients age 1-18 years identified from a prospective registry who presented with a diagnosis of appendicitis from 2017 to 2020. Patients who underwent appendectomy were eligible. Charts were reviewed for demographics, imaging studies, laboratory studies, length of stay, operative times and thirty-day postoperative adverse events defined as return to the emergency room, re-admission, postoperative abscess or return to the operating room. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify differences in resource utilization and outcome.

RESULTS: A total of 451 patients were identified. There were 126 obese patients (27.9%). Obese patients were not more likely to present with perforated appendicitis and were not more likely to undergo computed tomography scans. All patients underwent laparoscopic appendectomy. Although intraoperative times were significantly longer for Black patients and older patients, BMI did not influence length of surgery. Length of stay was significantly higher for younger patients (p = 0.019). Adverse events were seen in 38 patients (8.4%). There was no association between BMI and adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS: Within our standardized management pathway, obesity does not influence management or patient outcomes for the treatment of appendicitis. Furthermore, obese patients did not require additional resource utilization.


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Journal of pediatric surgery


online ahead of print

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