06.10.2022 | original article
Postoperative driving ability after appendectomy
Erschienen in: European SurgeryEinloggen, um Zugang zu erhalten
To investigate driving ability (brake reaction time, BRT) after appendectomy. It was assumed that 1 day after appendectomy, BRT would differ significantly from that of a healthy control group (hypothesis 1). It was also hypothesized that BRT would return to normal 2 weeks after surgery (hypothesis 2). The study also intended to compare the patient data and the recommended BRT threshold values as previously published by road authorities.
BRT was prospectively collected from 20 patients who underwent laparoscopic appendectomy and from 67 healthy controls. BRT was measured preoperatively with a custom-made driving simulator and on postoperative days 1 and 14.
In the control group, median BRT was 544 msec (±183 msec standard deviation, SD). In the patient cohort, median BRT was 640 msec (±343 msec SD) on the first postoperative day. This difference was statistically significant (p = 0.001). Two weeks postoperatively, BRT was 562 msec (±119 msec SD) in the appendectomy patients and no longer differed from that of controls (p = 0.683). BRT values of appendectomy patients were always well below BRT thresholds published by several road authorities.
On the first postoperative day, patients who underwent endoscopic appendectomy showed significantly impaired BRT as compared to healthy controls, but no longer after 2 weeks. However, appendectomy patients were always better than BRT thresholds recommended by several driving authorities. Therefore, it seems justified to allow patients to resume driving on the first postoperative day after endoscopically performed appendectomy.