Pediatric laparoscopic appendectomy, risk factors, and costs associated with nationwide readmissions

Jessica L. Buicko, Joshua Parreco, Samantha N. Abel, Michael A. Lopez, Juan E. Sola, Eduardo A. Perez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background Previous studies of readmission after pediatric laparoscopic appendectomy have been limited to individual hospitals or noncompeting public pediatric hospitals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk factors and costs associated with nonelective, 30-d readmissions in pediatric patients nationwide across public and private hospitals. Materials and methods The Nationwide Readmission Database for 2013 was queried for all patients under the age of 18 y with a diagnosis of acute appendicitis undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy. Using multivariate logistic regression with 26 different variables, the odds ratios (ORs) for nonelective readmissions within 30 d were determined. The costs of readmission were calculated as well as the most common diagnoses on readmission. Results In 2013, there were 12,730 patients under the age of 18 y undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy, and 3.4% were readmitted within 30 d. The overall mean age was 11.6 ± 3.8 y, and the mean age of the readmitted patients was 10.7 ± 4.0 whereas the mean age of patients not readmitted was 11.6 ± 3.8 (P < 0.01, 95% CI: 0.54-1.26). The total cost of readmissions was $3,645,502 with a weighted nationwide estimated cost of $10,351,690. The mean readmission cost was $8304 ± 7864. The most common diagnosis group on readmission was postoperative, posttraumatic, other device infections (36.0%), whereas the most common principal diagnosis was other postoperative infection (38.5%) and the most common secondary diagnosis was peritoneal abscess (11.9%). Conclusions Readmission within 30 d after laparoscopic appendectomy in pediatric patients represents a significant resource burden. This study elucidates the patient characteristics that predispose these patients to readmission. Efforts to reduce these readmissions should be focused around preventing infections in patients with these predisposing risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-249
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Appendicitis
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Quality improvement
  • Readmissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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