A survey of management of appendiceal mass among surgeons: what is best practice?

Tamer M. Abdelrahman, Majed A. Mourgi, Rehab A. Karam, Faris Sharaf Alfaar, Ayman Mohammed Alosaimi, Saif Mohammed Alasiri


Background: An appendix mass is the result of a walled-off perforation of the appendix which localizes, resulting in a mass and it is encountered in up to 7% of patients presenting with acute appendicitis. The management of such problem is controversial. Immediate appendectomy may be technically demanding. Traditionally, management of these patients is conservative followed by interval appendectomy to prevent recurrence. However, the need for interval appendectomy has recently been questioned due to relatively small risk of recurrence. Also, there is still debate on adopting conservative management regarding the recurrence rate, the complication rate of interval appendectomy, and the potential for underlying malignancy. Our aim was to assess the preferred approach and current practice for management of acute appendix mass among surgeons in Al Taif Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A questionnaire for the practice of surgeons in dealing with appendicular mass was designed and distributed to 21 consultants and 45 specialists.

Results: 14.3% of consultant and 53.3% of specialist practiced the conservative management without routine interval appendectomy. Also, 14.3% and 26.7% of them respectively preferred immediate appendectomy while 71.4% of consultants and 20.0% of specialists did routine interval appendectomy. Most of the surgeons prefer to adopt the open method in immediate appendectomy while laparoscopic approach is the main adopting procedure for interval appendectomy. 57% of consultants stated risk of recurrence as the reason for performing interval appendectomy while, 53.4% of specialists would perform it to out-ruling neoplasm.

Conclusions: Surgeons prefer to carry conservative approach with an interval appendectomy in management of appendix mass and laparoscopic approach for interval appendectomy. However immediate appendectomy and conservative management without interval appendectomy was preferred in other studies, which increase the necessity for national guidelines to be considered for management of this clinical condition.


Appendicitis, Appendix mass, Conservative treatment, Interval appendectomy

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