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Do Kids with Appendicitis Always Need Surgery?


Posted on Apr 25, 2014

Many young kids with appendicitis get surgical operations. But a new study shows that surgery is unnecessary for some of them.

Fox news reports on the latest study on appendicitis in kids.

A new study shows that children with uncomplicated cases of appendicitis actually do not need surgery. They can be treated with antibiotics and save the hassle of going through a procedure. Choosing this route will also save parents thousands of dollars.

Fox explains, “Appendicitis is when the appendix, a small tube-shaped extension of the colon, becomes inflamed and filled with puss. The appendix may burst without treatment and cause a widespread infection. Although the cause of appendicitis is not known, Minneci said it might often occur when a piece of feces blocks the appendix and allows bacteria to proliferate. Other inflamed tissues may also block the appendix and cause the condition. Doctors began noticing that some of the children were feeling better in the morning after the initial treatment of antibiotics.”

The study looked at over seventy children with appendicitis. The doctor who authored the study told CBS, “In this group of patients with uncomplicated appendicitis - in the people we studied, non-operative management with antibiotics alone appears to be a reasonable alternative. It used to be that people would operate on appendixes in the middle of the night. Then we found that it was safe to give them antibiotics and operate on them in the morning. They were hungry and they didn't have pain anymore.”

The results of the study were uplifting. “Of the 77 participants, 30 chose antibiotics and 47 picked surgery. Of those who chose the antibiotic option, 93 percent were feeling better within a day. They also tended to recover faster. Kids in the antibiotics-only group had an average of three days of recuperation versus 17 days in the surgery group. They were also able to return to school after three days, versus five days among kids who had surgery,” according to Fox.

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Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer