Clin Transplant. 2023 Oct 17:e15166. doi: 10.1111/ctr.15166. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Appendicitis in pancreatic transplant recipients can be challenging to diagnose and manage. Incidental appendicectomy (IA) during pancreas transplantation obviates the risk of appendicitis but potentially at the cost of increased operating time or early post-operative complications. This study reviewed the value of IA at a single center.
METHODS: This was a retrospective study of patients who underwent a pancreas transplant in our unit from January 1st, 2012 to December 31st, 2020, with end of follow-up on May 21st, 2023; recipients were grouped by whether or not an IA was performed during pancreas transplantation. Donor, recipient, operative, and graft outcomes were compared between the two groups. Post-transplant complications related to appendiceal pathology (or IA) were recorded and classified.
RESULTS: Two hundred forty-three patients underwent a pancreas transplant; 227 (93%) patients had an appendix in situ at transplantation, and of these 53 (23%) underwent an IA and 174 (77%) did not. There were no statistically significant differences in operative time (p = .06) or hospital stay (p = .50) between the two groups. In the IA cohort, there were no Clavien-Dindo Grade III-V complications relating to the appendicectomy. In those that did not undergo an IA, two patients (1%) subsequently required appendicectomy due to appendicitis. Comparison of pancreatic graft survival showed no statistically significant difference between the groups (p = .44).
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that IA is effective at reducing risks of post-transplant appendiceal complications without significantly prolonging inpatient stay or impairing graft survival. These data support the consideration of undertaking an IA for all patients undergoing a pancreas transplant.