Appendicitis could be treated with antibiotics rather than surgery
Friday Sept 28, 2012
Eight out of ten cases of appendicitis could be treated with antibiotics rather than surgery, a trial suggests.
A study found that although the standard approach to appendicitis is to remove the appendix, treatment with antibiotics can be just as effective.
Jeanette Hansson, of the University of Gothenburg, examined two clinical studies of adult patients with acute appendicitis.
She compared those who had received treatment with just antibiotics to those who had surgery with antibiotic therapy.
Ms Hansson says in her thesis, carried out at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Kungälv Hospital, that treatment with antibiotics was just as effective as surgery for the majority of patients.
She said: "Some patients are so ill that the operation is absolutely necessary, but 80 percent of those who can be treated with antibiotics recover and return to full health," says Jeanette Hansson.
The thesis also showed that patients who are treated with antibiotics are at risk of fewer complications than those who undergo surgery.
The risk of reoccurence within 12 months of antibiotic treatment is between ten and 15 per cent, but Ms Hansson said the medicine is still a viable alternative to surgery.
She said: "It's important to note that our studies show that patients who need surgery because of recurrences, or because the antibiotics haven't worked, are not at risk of any additional complications relative to those operated on in the first place."