Antibiotics Alone Successfully Treat Appendicitis In Children

First U.S. study compares surgery to medicine, finds that drugs work in most cases

Featured Video Play Icon
Pete Minneci, MD and Kate Deans, MD of Nationwide Children`s Hospital look over a study they authored that found 95 percent of children who were hospitalized for uncomplicated appendicitis could be successfully treated with antibiotics and sent home without undergoing traditional surgery.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – A new study by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is challenging the notion that children who are diagnosed with appendicitis should automatically undergo emergency surgery to remove the appendix. Instead, doctors are successfully treating patients using only antibiotics.

“Simply by giving these children antibiotics through an IV and monitoring them overnight, we found that over 90 percent were able to leave the hospital with their appendix and avoid surgery,” said Kate Deans, MD, co-author of the study and co-director of the Center for Surgical Outcomes Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Then, by completing a course of antibiotics at home, the vast majority of children recovered completely.”

The study is the first in the U.S. to compare outcomes between children who were treated with antibiotics for uncomplicated appendicitis and those who underwent traditional surgery to remove the appendix. Some 70,000 children a year, or about 200 a day, have emergency appendectomies.

“This study shows there is a non-surgical option parents may want to consider, and the results of treatment with antibiotics may be long-lasting,” said Pete Minneci, MD, the study’s other co-author, and co-director of the Center for Surgical Outcomes Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Of the children who were treated only with antibiotics, more than 75 percent still had their appendix a year later with no further complications.

Images

(click to download)

Pete Minneci, MD and Kate Deans, MD of Nationwide Children`s Hospital look over a study they authored that found 95 percent of children who were hospitalized for uncomplicated appendicitis could be successfully treated with antibiotics and sent home without undergoing traditional surgery.

The Gibson family enjoys game night together at their home in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Aria Gibson, left, age 12, took part in a study in which doctors at Nationwide Children`s Hospital successfully treated her appendicitis using only antibiotics, instead of traditional surgery.

Nearly 200 children a day undergo emergency appendectomies in the U.S., but a new study by researchers at Nationwide Children`s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio found surgery wasn`t always necessary. Experts were able to successfully treat the majority of children with uncomplicated appendicitis with antibiotics alone.

Aria Gibson of Reynoldsburg, Ohio received antibiotics via an IV at Nationwide Children`s Hospital instead of having her appendix removed surgically.

Aria Gibson, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, was successfully treated for appendicitis with antibiotics alone. Traditionally, children who are diagnosed with an inflamed appendix automatically undergo emergency appendectomies, but a new study by researchers at Nationwide Children`s Hospital shows surgery wasn`t necessary in a many children.