Center for Health Statistics
Texas Health Care Information Collection
Utilization Review: Specific Inpatient Procedures by Texas Hospital Referral Region, 2010
Incidental Appendectomy Among the Elderly
Incidental appendectomy is the removal of the appendix during another abdominal operation. This procedure is intended to eliminate the risk of appendicitis in the future and to simplify any future diagnoses of abdominal pain. This measure presents the number of incidental appendectomies per 100 abdominal surgeries in patients over age 65.
Why is this measure important?
Patients aged between 10 and 30 are most at risk of suffering from acute appendicitis. If patients in this age group are otherwise healthy, clinicians frequently recommend the removal of the appendix if the patient is having other abdominal surgery to prevent the possibility of future surgery for appendicitis. This is referred to an an "incidental appendectomy". Patients over the age of 65 are much less likely to suffer from acute appendicitis amd more likely to have postoperative complications. The risks to the elderly associated with a surgical procedure may outweigh any potential benefits to this patient group from receiving the preventive treatment.
Why might there be variation?
Variations may be a result of regional practice patterns. The removal of the appendix may be related to patient and surgeon preference.
What does this measure tell us?
The graphs and tables in this section show:
These measures are calculated by comparing the total number of appendectomies for patients over age 65 and over with all patients who had an intra-abdominal procedure. The denominator and the numerator exclude patients who are under age 65 and those patients who had a surgical removal of the colon (colectomy) or a pelvic evisceration.