Acute appendicitis represents the leading cause of acute gastrointestinal disorders, but only a small series regarding ambulatory appendectomies are available. The aim of this study was to report the results of ambulatory (day-case) appendectomy for acute appendicitis in a large consecutive cohort and to improve selection criteria in order to extend the indications.
All appendectomy procedures for acute appendicitis (March 2013 to June 2020) were included retrospectively. Criteria to select patients eligible for ambulatory appendectomy were based on our clinico-radiological St-Antoine’s score ≥4.
In total, 1,730 consecutive patients had an appendectomy for acute appendicitis: 1,279 (74%) in conventional settings and 451 (26%) in ambulatory settings. In the conventional group, 360 (28%) patients had surgery deferred to the next morning, whereas in the ambulatory group, 309 patients (70%) were readmitted the next morning (P < .0001). In the ambulatory group, 376 (83%) patients satisfied the criteria (score ≥4), and 90.9% were discharged on postoperative day 0. Rates of unplanned consultation and readmission were not significantly different (5.1% vs 6.6% P = .243). Multivariate analysis of the entire cohort confirmed absence of radiological perforation as highly predictive of early discharge (odds ratio = 6.073). In our cohort, these patients had an early discharge rate of 86.4% compared to 90.2% in those with a St-Antoine's score ≥4. Considering only radiological evidence of perforation as a selection criterion for ambulatory appendectomy, 581 more patients would be eligible for ambulatory surgery (+60%).
Ambulatory surgery for acute appendicitis based on St-Antoine’s score is safe. We propose to extend the indication for ambulatory management to all patients without radiological evidence of perforation.

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