Antibiotic therapy could soon replace surgery in the treatment of acute appendicitis, suggests study.
Appendicitis is a serious condition involving the
appendix (a tube-shaped sac attached to and opening into the lower end
of the large intestine), which becomes inflamed and painful, causing
abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and fever.
student Jeanette Hansson of Sahlgrenska Academy, University of
Gothenburg, Sweden, defended her thesis on the subject, which refers to
two major clinical studies of adult patients, carried out at Sahlgrenska
Hospital and Kungalv Hospital, respectively.
showed that treatment with antibiotics was just as effective as surgery
for the majority of acute appendicitis patients.
are so ill that the operation is absolutely necessary, but 80 percent
of those who can be treated with antibiotics recover and return to full
health," said Hansson, acording to a Sahlgrenska statement.
thesis also shows that patients who are treated with antibiotics are at
lower risk of complications than those who undergo surgery.
The risk of recurrence within 12 months of treatment with antibiotics is around 10-15 percent.
though increased resistance to antibiotics could also affect treatment,
the conclusion is that antibiotics are a viable alternative to surgery
in adult patients as things stand, provided that the patient accepts the
risk of recurrence.