Is it necessary to drain all postoperative fluid collections after appendectomy for perforated appendicitis?

Hannah G. Piper, Betul Derinkuyu, Korgun Koral, Eduardo A. Perez, Joseph T. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Children treated for perforated appendicitis can have significant morbidity. Management often includes looking for and draining postoperative fluid collections. We sought to determine if drainage hastens recovery. Methods: Children with perforated appendicitis treated with appendectomy from 2006 to 2009 were reviewed. Patients with postoperative fluid that was drained were compared with patients with undrained fluid with regard to preoperative features and postoperative outcomes. Statistical analyses included paired Student's t tests, Mann-Whitney U test, and linear regression. Results: Five hundred ninety-one patients were reviewed. Seventy-one patients had postoperative fluid, of whom 36 had a drainage procedure and 35 did not. There was no significant difference in white blood cell count at the time of assessment for drainage (16.4 ± 4.0 vs 14.6 ± 4.9, P = .14), days with fever (3.5 ± 3.0 vs 2.9 ± 2.5, P = .35), or readmission rate (19% vs 31%, P = .28). After multivariate linear regression, larger fluid volumes were associated with prolonged length of stay (LOS) (P = .03). For fluid collections between 30-100 mL, there was no significant difference in LOS between the drain and no-drain groups (9.8 ± 3.5 vs 10.9 ± 5.2 days, P = .51). Conclusion: After appendectomy for perforated appendicitis, larger postoperative fluid collections are associated with prolonged LOS. Drainage of collections less than 100 mL may not hasten recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1126-1130
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Percutaneous drainage
  • Perforated appendicitis
  • Postoperative fluid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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