Antibiotics could replace surgery for appendicitis

September 26, 2012

Although the standard approach to acute appendicitis is to remove the appendix, a study at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, reveals that treatment with antibiotics can be just as effective in many cases.

In her thesis, Jeanette Hansson discusses two major clinical studies of with . In the first study she compares surgery with , while in the second patients with appendicitis were treated with antibiotics as first-line therapy.

Carried out at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and Kungälv Hospital, the studies showed that treatment with antibiotics was just as effective as surgery for the majority of patients. "Some patients are so ill that the operation is absolutely necessary, but 80 percent of those who can be treated with antibiotics recover and return to full health," says Jeanette Hansson.

The thesis also shows that patients who are treated with antibiotics are at risk of fewer complications than those who undergo surgery.

The risk of recurrence within 12 months of treatment with antibiotics is around 10-15 percent. Jeanette Hansson and her colleagues hope to be able to document the risk of recurrence over the long term and also to study whether recurrences can also be treated with antibiotics. Even though increased resistance to antibiotics could also affect the treatment, the conclusion is that antibiotics are a viable alternative to surgery in adult patients as things stand, provided that the patient accepts the risk of .

"It's important to note that our studies show that patients who need surgery because of recurrences, or because the haven't worked, are not at risk of any additional complications relative to those operated on in the first place," says Jeanette Hansson.

Explore further: Antibiotics a safe and viable alternative to surgery for uncomplicated appendicitis, say experts

More information: The thesis: "Antibiotic therapy as single treatment of acute appendicitis" was publicly defended in May.

Related Stories

Antibiotics a safe and viable alternative to surgery for uncomplicated appendicitis, say experts

April 5, 2012
Giving antibiotics to patients with acute uncomplicated appendicitis is a safe and viable alternative to surgery, say experts in a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

Treating acute appendicitis with antibiotics not as effective as having appendix removed

May 5, 2011
Treating acute appendicitis with antibiotics is not as effective as the gold standard treatment of having the appendix surgically removed (appendicectomy). This is the conclusion of an Article in this week's edition of The ...

Common antibiotics pose a rare risk of severe liver injury in older patients

August 13, 2012
The commonly used broad-spectrum antibiotics moxifloxacin and levofloxacin are associated with an increased risk of severe liver injury in older people, according to a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association ...

Long-term use of antibiotic to treat acne not associated with increased bacterial resistance

April 11, 2011
The prolonged use of tetracycline antibiotics commonly used to treat acne was associated with a reduced prevalence of StaphylococcuS. aureus bacteria and was not associated with increased resistance to the tetracycline antibiotics, ...

Recommended for you

Exploring how herpes simplex virus changes when passed between family members

October 22, 2017
A new study explores how herpes simplex virus might change when passed from one individual to another, information that may prove useful in future development of therapeutics and vaccines. This rare glimpse into a transmission ...

Pneumonia vaccine under development provides 'most comprehensive coverage' to date, alleviates antimicrobial concerns

October 20, 2017
In 2004, pneumonia killed more than 2 million children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. By 2015, the number was less than 1 million.

Newly discovered viral marker could help predict flu severity in infected patients

October 20, 2017
Flu viruses contain defective genetic material that may activate the immune system in infected patients, and new research published in PLOS Pathogens suggests that lower levels of these molecules could increase flu severity.

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer

October 19, 2017
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.