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Can Acute Appendicitis Be Treated by Antibiotics Alone?

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Emergency appendectomy at presentation has been the standard of care for acute appendicitis. We examined the use of antibiotics as an alternative treatment. From September 2002 to August 2003, 170 consecutive patients diagnosed with acute appendicitis without abscess were reviewed retrospectively. Patients were divided into two groups: Group I (n = 151) underwent emergency appendectomy and Group II (n = 19) received antibiotics alone. The mode of treatment was at the attending surgeon's discretion. The overall complication rate was eight per cent for Group I and 10 per cent for Group II patients (P = 0.22). Group II patients suffered no complications during antibiotic treatment, and any complications that did occur developed after subsequent appendectomy. One Group II patient had recurrent appendicitis (5%). The length of stay was 2.61 ± 0.21 days for Group I and 2.95 ± 0.38 days for Group II patients (P = 0.57). Patients with acute appendicitis may be treated safely with antibiotics alone without emergency appendectomy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois;, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois; 2: Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago, Illinois; and 3: From the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois;, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 4: From the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois; 5: Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois;, From the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois;

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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