A prospective same day discharge protocol for pediatric appendicitis: Adding value to a common surgical condition

Yangyang R. Yu, Carolyn M. Smith, Kimberly K. Ceyanes, Bindi J. Naik-Mathuria, Sohail R. Shah, Adam M. Vogel, Kathleen E. Carberry, Jed G. Nuchtern, Monica E. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: Standardized clinical pathways for simple appendicitis decrease length of stay and result in cost savings. We performed a prospective cohort study to assess a same day discharge (SDD) protocol for children with simple appendicitis. Methods: All children undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy for simple appendicitis after protocol implementation (February 2016 to January 2017) were assessed. Length of stay (LOS), 30-day resource utilization (ED visits and hospital readmissions), patient satisfaction, and hospital accounting costs for SDD were compared to non-SDD patients. Results: Of 602 children treated at our institution, 185 (31%) were successfully discharged per protocol. SDD patients had longer median PACU duration (3.0 vs. 1.0 h, p < 0.001), but postoperative LOS (4.4 vs. 17.4 h, p < 0.001) and overall LOS (17.1 vs. 31.2 h, p < 0.001) were significantly shorter. Complication rates (1.6% vs. 3.1%), ED visits (4.3% vs. 6.0%), and readmissions (0.5% vs. 2.4%) were not significantly different for SDD compared to non-SDD patients. However, SDD decreases total cost of an appendectomy episode ($8073 vs $8424, p = 0.002), and patients report high satisfaction with their hospital experience (mean 9.4 out of 10). Conclusions: Safe and satisfactory outpatient management of pediatric simple appendicitis is achievable with appropriate patient selection. An SDD protocol can lead to significant generation of value to the healthcare system. Level of Evidence: Prognosis study, Level II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Appendicitis
  • Cost analysis
  • Pediatric
  • Quality improvement
  • Same day discharge
  • Value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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