DO ALL PATIENTS WITH APPENDICITIS NEED SURGERY? NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE
The has been conflicting studies comparing surgery versus antibiotics in the treatment of appendicitis. For years, the only treatment was surgery. In a study performed in Finland, 530 patients with CT confirmed uncomplicated appendicitis were either treated with antibiotic or surgery and followed for 1 year. Both groups did well but 27% of patients in the antibiotic group eventually required surgery. The surgical group was associated with a 20% incidence of surgery related complications. Of note, is that there were no deaths in either group.
In conclusion, antibiotic treatment of appendicitis remains controversial, but may be a viable alternative to those who do not (or cannot tolerate) surgery.