New York (CBSNewYork) — The most common emergency surgery in the United States is appendectomy – appendix removal.
But now there is increasing evidence that some patients can avoid or delay the surgery and receive treatment with antibiotics instead, Dr. Max Gomez of CBS2 reported Monday.
Five years ago, Heather Van Dusen arrived at the emergency room at the University of Washington Medical Center.
“It’s really terrible, more pain than I’ve ever felt with stomach problems,” VanDusen said.
Diagnosis: Appendicitis. This usually means emergency surgery to remove the infected or inflamed appendix. But now, with the latest research, the American College of Surgeons states that antibiotics may be the treatment of choice for many patients.
“If you have appendicitis and are in the emergency department, you have the option of surgery or antibiotic treatment,” said Dr. Giana Davidson, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Washington.
Dr. Davidson is the co-author of the largest randomized clinical trial to date for the treatment of appendicitis. 1,500 patients underwent either appendectomy or antibiotics.
In the first three months, nearly seven out of ten patients in the antibiotic group avoided surgery. Four years later, less than half of the patients in the antibiotic group underwent surgery.
Based on current data, researchers have created an online tool to help patients and surgeons discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each approach.
“We want people to be able to discuss treatment options that make the most sense at the time with the surgeon,” said Dr. Davison.
VanDusen chose antibiotics over appendectomy.
“They didn’t make me feel the best. I’m really tired,” she said. “But after finishing the antibiotic course … life is back to normal. There is no other episode.”
Recent appendicitis surgery is much less invasive than before. It can often be done laparoscopically and sometimes even outpatiently. However, if the appendix ruptures, laparotomy and long-term hospitalization may be required.
The clinical trials did not include children, but researchers say other studies are investigating whether antibiotics work in pediatric patients.
Patients with Appendicitis May Not Need Surgery, New Research Show – CBS New York
Source link Patients with Appendicitis May Not Need Surgery, New Research Show – CBS New York