Patients treated without surgery have quicker recovery times.
A child suffering from a simple case of appendicitis could chose to be treated with antibiotics instead of surgery, and the outcome could be better for the patient and the family finances as well. according to a new study from The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
A story on foxnews.com says children that can be treated with drugs and do not have surgery need less time to recover from the treatment, and typically, the cost will be lower for the family.
Appendicitis can be caused by an infection, blockage, trauma, or an internal disorder, and occurs when a small pouch of tissue becomes inflamed. According to the researchers, about 11 percent of pediatric emergency room visits are children with appendicitis, a condition that has been treated with surgery traditionally.
The new research involved a screening of 629 patients between the ages of seven and 17 who presented to the emergency room with appendicitis during a period from October 2012 through March 2013.
From that group, 102 were enrolled in the study and 37 chose medication treatment instead of the surgery. The treatment itself consisted of a minimum of 24 hours of intravenous antibiotics, followed by 10 days of oral antibiotics.
Follow-up monitoring found 76 percent of the children were still healthy after a year, and needed no additional treatment. Those children using antibiotics averaged 13 fewer days of rest, and their medical bills were an average of $800 lower when compared to the surgical treatment.
The study team stopped short of saying one treatment method was better than the other, but did say both options are similar in terms of safety, and that treatment with antibiotics is a reasonable alternative to surgery in cases of simple appendicitis.
Dr. Peter Minneci of Nationwide Children’s Hospital said their facility already offered the option to use the antibiotic treatment to patients with simple appendicitis, and he expected other hospitals to begin to develop protocols for the introduction of the option as well.
Minneci added there is a body of literature that shows patients involved in the treatment decision-making process fare better during the actual treatment.