Purpose: This was a pilot randomised, prospective study, which aimed to determine and compare the post-operative complications of paediatric patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) for complicated appendicitis, with and without a peritoneal drain. Methods: Patients younger than 13 years, undergoing LA for complicated appendicitis at the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital (DGMAH), over a 15-month period during 2019–2020 were enrolled. Randomisation was achieved by a blocked randomisation plan. Patients were randomised in a 1:1 ratio into the “drain” (D) and “no drain” (ND) groups. Results: Thirty-four patients were included in this study; seventeen in each group. The complication rate was 26%. Intra-abdominal collection accounted for 89% of the complications. The complication rate in the “D” group was 18% and 35% in the “ND” group, with no statistically significant difference. Complication rates were higher (38%) in patients with generalised pus when compared to localised pus (7%), although not statistically significant. The mean theatre time, hospital stay, and duration of antibiotic use did not differ significantly between the groups. Conclusion: From our study, the post-operative peritoneal drain did not make any statistically significant difference in patient outcome. The amount of intra-abdominal contamination is more likely to contribute in the development of complications. Trial registration number: SMUREC/M/15/2019: PG.
- Complicated appendicitis
- Peritoneal drain