The Particulars: Studies have suggested that morbidity and mortality rates are worse among patients undergoing surgeries performed during the weekend, leading to a phenomenon dubbed the “weekend effect.” Few studies, however, have explored whether the weekend effect is present in appendectomies.
Data Breakdown: Staten Island University researchers compared data for patients who underwent open or laparoscopic appendectomy for acute non-perforated appendicitis either during the week or during the weekend. The authors observed no statistically significant differences between groups in length of stay, in-hospital morbidity, or in-hospital mortality. However, the weekend appendectomy group had higher average hospital charges.
Take Home Pearls: The weekend effect does not appear to play a role in open or laparoscopic appendectomies for acute non-perforated appendicitis. Future research should explore why patients who undergo appendectomy during the weekend incur higher charges than those having the surgery during the week.