Single-incision laparoscopic surgery: feasibility for pediatric appendectomies

Sarah C. Oltmann, Nilda M. Garcia, Brenda Ventura, Ian Mitchell, Anne C. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Introduction: Single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) is a novel area of minimally invasive surgery using a single incision. The end result is a lone incision at the umbilicus for a perceived scarless abdomen. We report our early experience using the SILS technique for appendectomies in the pediatric population. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on our first patients to undergo SILS appendectomy (SILS-A) or laparoscopic appendectomy (LAP-A) during the same period at a freestanding children's hospital. Results: Thirty-nine patients were reviewed. Nineteen patients underwent SILS-A (8.7 ± 0.76 [SEM] years old), and 20 patients underwent LAP-A (10.5 ± 0.87 years old, 2-17). Ages were 19 months to 14 years in the SILS-A group, with 21% (4 patients) not older than 6 years. Median weight for SILS-A was 32 kg (14.5-80.3). Twelve patients had acute nonperforated appendicitis (62%). Mean duration of operation was 58 ± 5.6 (30-135) minutes vs 43 ± 3.6 (30-85) minutes for standard LAP-A. Two patients were converted to a transumbilical appendectomy, one for inability to maintain a pneumoperitoneum and one for extensive adhesions. Postoperative complications consisted of one wound seroma. No wound infections, hernias, readmissions, or difference in length of stay were noted. Conclusion: The SILS approach for acute appendicitis is feasible in the pediatric population even in patients as young as 19 months. Operating room times are somewhat longer than with LAP-A, but should decrease with improved instrumentation and experience. Larger studies and further technical refinements are needed before its widespread implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1208-1212
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Appendectomy
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Single-access surgery
  • Single-incision laparoscopic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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