Traditionally, appendicitis requires surgical intervention but late studies suggest that, in most common cases, appendicitis may be treated with antibiotics and no surgery.
The study, conducted in Finland, and recently made public in the Journal of the American Medical Association, informs on the efficiency of antibiotics in dealing with the majority of appendicitis cases. Appendicitis commonly occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed, causing abdominal pain and distress.
One of the conclusions of the study states that a total number of 80 percent of the patients involved in the research presented only less complicated situations, mainly experiencing inflamed appendicitis.
Only 20 percent of them faced more serious instances of perforated appendices or abdominal abscesses that do require prompt medical intervention.
The Finnish study comprised a number of 530 patients, with ages ranging from 18 to 60. They were all divided into two distinct groups.
Consequently 273 out of them followed the standard surgical procedure for appendicitis, whereas 257 were treated with antibiotics.
As a result, for one year time, 73 percent of those who received antibiotics treatment could do without having their appendix removed.
According to Dr. Paulina Salminen, who is adjunct professor and head physician of the Emergency Surgery Unit at Turku University Hospital, there is a great chance that the majority of these uncomplicated cases could be treated by means of antibiotics.
Dr. Paulina Salminen also points out to the main advantages of avoiding unnecessary invasive procedure, especially by reducing costs but also considering the morbidity factor generally associated with surgical intervention.
On the other hand, those who favor Appendectomies, sustain that the new solution of the antibiotics treatment still needs to be tackled in order to become accepted.
One of the main challenges in establishing antibiotics as a certain solution for appendicitis is to determine who are the best candidates for this sort of non-invasive treatment , who are certain not to require surgical intervention.
As also stipulated by Dr. Shane Speights at St. Bernards Medical Center, there is still a high percentage of patients who didn’t need to have their appendix removed, consequently there is a certain group of the people who experience uncomplicated appendicitis and who could, most probably, do alright just with antibiotics treatment.
The difficult part is to determine, at this point, who is in that group and who is going to need surgery down the road. Dr. Speights agrees that antibiotic patients do recover faster, but he also claims that this treatment is, still, pretty controversial. So he recommends patients to require clear information about their options.
Given the fact that most patients do not suffer from complications of appendicitis, this new discovery enables medical specialists to reconsider traditional surgical approach and embrace less invasive solutions that would certainly better fit and serve patients.