As appendicitis occurs mostly at an early age, parents will be happy to learn that antibiotics can be used for appendicitis instead of surgery to treat their children.
- Surgery has always been the best option for treating appendicitis
- Patients treated with antibiotics showed signs of improvement within 24 hours
- A year after antibiotic treatment, appendicitis gave no sign of coming back
Many of us have been through an appendicitis surgery as children. The surgery is done to remove the appendix which has swollen or burst. The pain in the abdominal area is quite high and when we finally get rid of it after the surgery we find out we are not allowed to eat much, so there are many downsides to this.
Luckily for children nowadays, scientists have discovered that they can treat appendicitis with antibiotics, without the patient having to undergo surgery and become “appendix-less”. The the study was published in the JAMA Surgery journal and was led by a team of a research institute in Ohio.
The study had 102 participants who were aged between 7 and 17. A number of 37 children received antibiotics treatment, while the other 65 received surgery. The antibiotics were administered intravenously for 24 hours and then orally for the next 10 days.
However, there is a catch. The appendicitis has to be caught at an early stage, when the appendix has not burst yet and within 48 hours from when the abdominal pain has started, for the antibiotics treatment to work.
The findings of the study showed that within the first 24 hours of antibiotic administration, 95 percent of patients had improved conditions. Moreover, a year later, 75 percent of the children did not show any signs of appendicitis reoccurring.
The downside of having a surgery was that the kids had to rest for 13 days, which on one hand was appealing to them as they didn’t have to go to school, but on the other hand it also meant not going out and play. Plus, the hospital bill charged the parents with about $800.
The surgery has been used for such a long time without considering other options of treatment because it was the most secure way of eliminating the possibility of appendicitis ever coming back. But now, knowing that an antibiotic treatment could also eliminate this possibility, appendicitis treatment might undergo some serious changes in the future, and both surgery and antibiotic treatment will be available to choose from.
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