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Antibiotics Are a Better Treatment for Appendicitis in Children

Antibiotics Are a Better Treatment for Appendicitis in Children

Monday, 16 April, 2018 - 05:30
Operating theater. Reuters file photo
Cologne (Germany) - Majid al-Khateeb
German surgeons do not automatically resort to the scalpel to treat appendicitis, and cite studies saying treatments with antibiotics are more efficient.

More than 100,000 appendectomies take place yearly in Germany, with thousands of cases involving children, according to the German Society for Surgery. However, German surgeons believe that treating appendicitis in kids with antibiotics is better than surgery.

According to the experts, it would be better to treat kids with antibiotics for a while, before sending them to the operation room.

This was a recommendation given by Bernd Tillig of the German Society for Pediatric Surgery during the opening of the annual conference of the association in Berlin. The advice is for surgeons, pediatricians, and parents alike, he said.

Tillig said that the rate of failure and complications in children’s appendectomies is 40 percent in the simple surgeries, which is a high rate.

These failures drop to over 20 percent in complicated surgeries, he noted.

The latest researches published in the JAMA Pediatrics on appendicitis in children said that treatment with antibiotics is better, Tillig added.

But he noted that these findings do not apply for all cases and all children, and the right and final decision should be taken by the doctor.

Ultrasounds and X-rays may be the decisive factor that help a pediatrician choose between antibiotics and surgery, given that radiation gives a more accurate diagnosis (up to 95 percent) of acute appendicitis.

The German Society for Surgery sees that keeping a child in the hospital on antibiotics for 3-5 days, and then recommending a surgery (if the case really requires one) is the best choice. Undergoing an appendectomy after the treatment of an inflammation and its symptoms, can be beneficial to avoid another inflammation.

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