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Video: Appendicitis In Most Cases Can Be Cured Without Surgery
Appendicitis in most cases can be cured without surgery
A new Finnish study shows that antibiotic treatment is a reasonable alternative to surgery for most patients with appendicitis.
A still from the film "The Pokrovskie Gates". Photo: YouTube /
A new Finnish study shows that antibiotic treatment is a reasonable alternative to surgery for many patients with appendicitis. Five years after antibiotic treatment, nearly two-thirds of patients had no second attack.
For many decades, the inflamed appendix has been urgently removed, fearing that complications (for example, its rupture) threaten the patient's life. But advances in computed tomography have made it easier to identify an appendix that might rupture and identify patients who can be treated without surgery.
Finnish research results show that nearly two thirds of patients are not at risk of complications and can be treated with antibiotics.
“This is a feasible, realistic and safe treatment option,” says Dr. Paulina Salminen, lead author of the study and surgeon at Turku University Hospital in Finland.
Her study of adult patients is the longest-running follow-up of patients taking drugs instead of surgery for appendicitis, and it confirms previous research on the subject. The work has also shown that antibiotics can be an effective treatment for some children with appendicitis. The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The editorial board of the journal argues in this regard that a "new era of appendicitis treatment" has begun, which makes it possible to do without most operations to remove the appendix.
The study involved about 500 adult Finnish citizens who underwent computed tomography to rule out serious cases of appendicitis.
Then half of them were treated with antibiotics, and the rest were operated on.
Of the patients who were treated with antibiotics, 100 still underwent surgery within five years of treatment, most often due to the alleged recurrence of appendicitis in the first year. Seven of them did not actually have appendicitis and probably could have avoided surgery in their case. The results show that the antibiotic treatment success rate was almost 64%.
One in four of the operated patients subsequently developed complications, including infections around the incision, abdominal pain and hernia, compared with 7% of complications in patients treated with antibiotics. Antibiotic-treated patients, on average, spent fewer days on sick leave than operated patients. They received antibiotics for three days in the hospital, and then for another seven days they took them at home. In the first year, their treatment costs were about 60%. A cost analysis over five years was not included in the published results.