Antibiotics better than appendix surgery for kids: Study

Antibiotics better than appendix surgery for kids: Study

Choosing antibiotics meant recovery time for kids was much less and medical bills significantly lower.

Appendicitis surgery to remove a child's appendix has to be one of the most routine surgical procedures conducted on kids.

However, surgery -- however minor and common it may be -- when conducted on kids, can be a scary idea for most parents and children.

For those parents with kids who suffer from appendicitis and are worried at the thought of surgery --- there is good news.

According to a new U.S. study as reported by Channel NewsAsia, "offering the families of children with appendicitis the option of antibiotics instead of surgery is safe and may ultimately lead to slightly better outcomes."

Appendicitis surgery? The study and what it found

Researchers found that in the case of kids with simple appendicitis, when parents chose antibiotic treatment over immediate surgery, children usually got better without ever needing surgery.

They screened 629 patients between the ages of seven and 17 between October 2012 and March 2013 with appendicitis.

Around 22 percent of these kids who had mild appendicitis were eligible to take part in the study, and ultimately, 102 enrolled.

Of those, "37 families chose to have their children treated with at least 24 hours of intravenous antibiotics followed by 10 days of oral antibiotics." The others opted to go for surgery.

In a year's time, around 76 percent of kids who took antibiotics were still healthy and what's more, did not need further treatment.

Also, in comparison to those who were operated on, kids who were on antibiotics ended up needing an average of 13 less days of rest. Their medical bills were significantly lower too.

Dr. Peter Minneci, of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, noted that the treatment options are also similar safety-wise.

However, he did emphasise that "the study team doesn't want to say one treatment is better than the other, merely that treatment of simple cases of appendicitis with antibiotics is a reasonable alternative."

Parents, do consult carefully with your child's doctor before taking any medical decision and carefully consider the pros and cons of all options provided.

What would you choose if your child had mild appendicitis: antibiotics or surgery? Let us know in a comment below.

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