Controversy exists regarding obtaining routine peritoneal cultures during appendectomy. The aim of the study was to determine the impact of obtaining routine peritoneal fluid cultures during appendectomy on the treatment and clinical outcome in children. The charts of 269 children who were operated with the diagnosis of appendicitis between January 1996 and January 2001 were reviewed. The microorganisms in peritoneal cultures, selection of antibiotics and clinical outcome were evaluated. Average age was 10.1+/-3.3 (range, 1 to 17 years) years with a male to female ratio of 1.7 (170/99). There were two groups of patients; Group 1: uncomplicated appendicitis (201/269=75%), and Group 2: complicated (perforated) appendicitis (49/269=18%). In the series, 19 patients were found to have a normal appendix in histopathological examination (7%). Cultures were obtained from 95 (35.3%) patients (group 1: 59/95, group 2: 36/95). In patients with uncomplicated appendicitis, 6.7% of the cultures (4/59) were positive while in group 2, the rate was 47.2% (17/36) (p<0.05). Only in four patients who were in group 2, antibiotics were re-adjusted according to the cultures. Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae were the most common microorganisms. There were no complications in group 1, while wound infection (18.3%) and intra-abdominal abscess (2%) were the two most common complications in group 2. Intra-operative peritoneal cultures during appendectomy do not add much to the treatment of children. Therefore, it is not necessary to get peritoneal swab cultures during the procedures, and empiric use of wide spectrum antibiotics when necessary is generally sufficient in the management of this group of children.