There’s a promising new way to treat appendicitis that doesn’t involve surgery
(Lindsey Tanner/Associated Press) — When emergency tests showed the telltale right-sided pain in Heather VanDusen’s abdomen was appendicitis, she figured she’d be quickly wheeled into surgery. But doctors offered her the option of antibiotics instead.
A new study from Finland shows her choice is a reasonable alternative for most patients with appendicitis. Five years after treatment with antibiotics, almost two-thirds of patients hadn’t had another attack.
It’s a substantial change in thinking about how to treat an inflamed appendix. For decades, appendicitis has been considered a medical emergency requiring immediate surgery to remove the appendix because of fears it could burst, which can be life-threatening.
But advances in imaging tests, mainly CT scans, have made it easier to determine if an appendix might burst, or if patients could be safely treated without surgery. (…)read full story