Expedited Surgical Care of Appendicitis is Associated With Improved Resource Utilization

Katherine C. Ott*, Jonathan C. Vacek, Maxwell A. McMahon, Camille M. Moeckel, Yue Yung Hu, Mehul V. Raval, Seth D. Goldstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Appendectomy for acute appendicitis is the most common pediatric intra-abdominal operation. Current literature supports the notion that modest in-hospital, preoperative delays are not associated with greater patient morbidity. However, there is less certainty regarding the role that hour-of-presentation plays in determining the timing of surgery. Thus, we aimed to evaluate how after-hours presentation may relate to the timing of surgery and to assess the outcomes and resource utilization associated with expedited appendectomy compared to nonexpedited. Methods: Patient records for children who underwent an appendectomy at a freestanding pediatric hospital from 2015 to 2019 were reviewed. Business hour presentations were defined as arrival at the emergency department from 7 AM to 6 PM. Primary outcomes were hospital length of stay (LOS), cost derived from the Pediatric Health Information System database, perforation, surgical complications, and 30-day readmissions. Results: Nine hundred forty-two patients underwent appendectomy over the study period. The median time to OR was 2.0 h in the expedited cohort and 9.8 h in the nonexpedited group. Presentation during business hours was associated with 4.4 higher odds (P < 0.001) of expedited workflow. Expedited appendectomies were associated with shorter hospital LOS (11.5 h, P < 0.001), less costly admissions ($1,155, P < 0.001); LOS measured in midnights, perforation and readmission rates were similar between groups. Conclusions: We found reduced resource utilization associated with expedited appendectomy. Additionally, the demonstrated association between the time of presentation to the emergency department (ED) and the timing of surgery may be utilized to inform staffing and resource deployment decisions. Further research regarding the generalizability and sustainability of an expedited presurgical workflow in pediatric appendectomy is certainly indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Appendicitis
  • Expedited workflow
  • Resource utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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