Dr. Peter Minneci, lead author of the study and head of the Center for Surgical Outcomes Research within the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, explained that during his career he noticed that patients with appendicitis-related abdominal pain often felt better overnight after they were given antibiotics.
So, he and his team wondered whether surgery is really necessary to treat acute appendicitis in the patients that show no signs of complications.
Minneci noted that medical community sees the medical procedure as the ‘gold standard’ in treating the condition because by removing the inflamed appendix there is no risk of the condition to make a comeback.
Most of the families researchers had surveyed said that they would rather use antibiotics than forcing their children into surgery. The parents that did treat their kids’ appendicitis with the drugs said that it was worth it, despite some cases eventually requiring an appendectomy.
In their research, scientists monitored more than 100 patients with acute appendicitis with ages between 7 and 17 years old. But these patients had only a milder type of the condition, which means that their pain did not last more than two days, and their appendix did not rupture.
Nearly 40 percent of study participants were given antibiotics, while about 60 percent underwent surgery. But those who took antibiotics were hospitalized and monitored constantly for at least 24 hours since pain emerged. They were asked to take the drug 10 more days after being discharged from the medical facility.
The study revealed that 95 percent of the antibiotics group did not need surgery anymore. Only two patients had their organ removed within 30 months since the first hospital admission. After 12 months, 75 percent of children who were administered antibiotics did not require an appendectomy, and their appendicitis did not reoccur.
Researchers said that the findings may be a wonderful piece of news for parents, who are usually very concerned about surgery because of anesthesia. Other parents worry that the condition may return so they opt for surgery. So, choosing between antibiotics and surgery is a matter of personal option, as parents know best what is good for their family.
Nevertheless, not all types of appendicitis respond to a treatment with antibiotics, study authors underscored. Depending on its severity and complications, it may or may not require surgery. This is why patients need to be carefully examined before antibiotics prescription, and only a relatively small group is eligible for this kind of treatment, researchers noted.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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