Antibiotic use following surgery for complicated appendicitis surgery may do more harm than good, suggests a new research. The researchers found that such patients remained in the hospital up to one day longer than patients who had not received antibiotics.
Lead researcher Dennis Kim from Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute in the US said, "Our study indicates antibiotics may not be necessary following surgery for complicated appendicitis."
The research team studied the outcomes over five years for 410 adults with complicated appendectomies, or those where the appendix was found to be perforated or gangrenous. Post-operative antibiotics were administered to 274 of those patients, or 66.8%.
For the study, researchers compared patients who received post-operative antibiotics to those who had not received the medications. They found no significant difference in wound complications among the two groups. But, the 274 patients who received post-operative antibiotics did have slightly longer hospital stays, an average of about one day longer, than the patients who did not receive the medication.
Kim said, "Antibiotics are not without risks, costs or complications. While further study is needed, surgeons and physicians may wish to re-examine or be more selective in deciding which patients may potentially benefit from post-operative antibiotic therapy for complicated appendicitis."
The study appeared online in the American Journal of Surgery.