This news ought to be making major headlines:  Surgery is not necessarily the best treatment for appendicitis!  Granted, the alternative is a heavy course of antibiotics, which also carries risks, but I'd take that over surgery any day.  (Just don't forget to eat your yoghurt.)

Ultimately, 102 enrolled in the study. Of those, 37 families chose to have their children treated with at least 24 hours of intravenous antibiotics followed by 10 days of oral antibiotics. The others elected surgery.

A year later, about 76 percent of kids whose family chose antibiotics were still healthy and didn't need additional treatment.

Compared to those who got surgery, the children who got antibiotics also ended up needing an average of 13 fewer days of rest, and had medical bills that were an average of $800 lower.

There was also no significant difference in the number of appendicitis cases that became complicated during surgery or after treatment with antibiotics. Minneci said that shows the treatment options are similar in terms of safety.

The option of antibiotics for simple appendicitis is likely already available in large medical centers for adults with appendicitis and probably a few large centers that treat children, said Jennings, who wasn't involved in the new study.

Minneci said his hospital already offers the option of antibiotics to people with simple cases of appendicitis, and he expects other hospitals to start developing protocols to introduce the option, too.

"I think if a family walks in the ER now and they bring it up, the surgeon should discuss it with them because it’s a reasonable option," he said.

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 10:04 am | Edit
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