Is an Appendectomy always necessary with Appendicitis? A new study suggests maybe not.
Most of us have learned that Appendicitis requires surgery of the Appendix. If you are unfamiliar with what this organ is, read about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermiform_appendix.
For years, it has been common practice to remove the appendix when it becomes inflamed as it was thought not to have any value, and that its removal was necessary. In other countries, it is often treated successfully with antibiotics, non surgically and successfully, without the need for surgery, the recovery time or the possible complications of the procedure alone. Of course, by treating this medicinally, it is done at a much lower cost as well.
A while ago, a reported on a case where a patient who was having appendicitis wanted to be treated conservatively due to the cost, and was coerced by numerous medical personnel to have this done surgically or else he would die. He was knowledgeable that in Sweden, they treated it with a $50 course of antibiotics with a high success rate. Read that article here .
The NY Times just reported on a new study that suggests that we need to rethink our dogmatic approach of removal when infected with regards to the appendix since antibiotics have been proven to and do work when someone has appendicitis. You can read about it here
Treating Appendicitis Without Surgery
For many years, immediate surgery has been considered the only proper treatment for appendicitis in children. Now a small study suggests that in some cases, antibiotics alone may be better.
The study, published online in The Journal of the American College of Surgeons, involved 77 uncomplicated cases of acute appendicitis that met specific criteria. Patients were 7 to 17 years old; they had had pain for 48 hours or less; their white blood cell counts were only moderately elevated (less than 18,000); CT or ultrasound scans confirmed their appendix had not ruptured; and they had no impacted feces.
Thirty of the patients opted not to have immediate surgery and were treated with a minimum of 24 hours of intravenous antibiotics, followed by about a week of oral antibiotics. Any child who did not get better within 24 hours of antibiotics underwent surgery.