Cases of Appendicitis Might Be Solved With a Round Of Antibiotics, Shows Finnish Study

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According to a new study published on 25 September in the journal JAMA by researchers at the Turku University Hospital in Finland, people that have appendicitis could just skip surgery and take a round of antibiotics.

The study shows that 257 patients from Finland that had uncomplicated acute appendicitis – meaning the appendix didn’t burst – were treated with antibiotics instead of surgery. The data from these patients was compared to a group of other 270 adults that had surgery for appendicitis.

The patients that received antibiotics received a three-day dose of intravenous ertapenem in the hospital and were sent back home, following a seven days treatment of levofloxacin and metronidazole pills.

The study followed up patients and after five years, researchers found that almost two-thirds of people that received antibiotics were “successfully treated,” and didn’t need surgery within the past five years.

Only 39% of them needed surgery, but the delay didn’t end in severe or increased complications.

Fewer Complications, Less Time Off, Non-invasive Procedure

The study also showed that the individuals that took antibiotics had lower rates of complications compared to the ones that had surgery. Moreover, the group on antibiotics returned back to work 11 days earlier than the group that had surgery.

The lead author of the study and a surgeon at the University, Dr. Paulina Salminen explained in an interview that this is a “feasible, viable and a safe option” to surgery adding that:

“It takes some time to create a big change in the mindset of patients, doctors, and surgeons, but this has already started with the promising results. This could have a major impact on current surgical practices.”

Removing the appendix is a routine surgery, but even if it’s a low-risk procedure, it’s still invasive, explained the pediatric surgeon at the University of Florida Health, Janice Taylor. She concluded that not only it impacts people financially, making them take time off to heal, but it can also bear risks of complications.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere