Breaking News
May 3, 2019 - Vaping and Smoking May Signal Greater Motivation to Quit
May 3, 2019 - Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
May 3, 2019 - Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings
May 3, 2019 - Study of teens with eating disorders explores how substance users differ from non-substance users
May 3, 2019 - Scientists develop new video game that may help in the study of Alzheimer’s
May 3, 2019 - Arc Bio introduces Galileo Pathogen Solution product line at ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 3, 2019 - Cornell University study uncovers relationship between starch digestion gene and gut bacteria
May 3, 2019 - How to Safely Use Glucose Meters and Test Strips for Diabetes
May 3, 2019 - Anti-inflammatory drugs ineffective for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
May 3, 2019 - Study tracks Pennsylvania’s oil and gas waste-disposal practices
May 3, 2019 - Creating a better radiation diagnostic test for astronauts
May 3, 2019 - Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients
May 3, 2019 - PPDC announces seed grants to develop medical devices for children
May 3, 2019 - Study maps out the frequency and impact of water polo head injuries
May 3, 2019 - Research on Reddit identifies risks associated with unproven treatments for opioid addiction
May 3, 2019 - Good smells may help ease tobacco cravings
May 3, 2019 - Medical financial hardship found to be very common among people in the United States
May 3, 2019 - Researchers develop multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation
May 3, 2019 - Study shows significant mortality benefit with CABG over percutaneous coronary intervention
May 3, 2019 - Will gene-editing of human embryos ever be justifiable?
May 3, 2019 - FDA Approves Dengvaxia (dengue vaccine) for the Prevention of Dengue Disease in Endemic Regions
May 3, 2019 - Why Tonsillitis Keeps Coming Back
May 3, 2019 - Fighting the opioid epidemic with data
May 3, 2019 - Maggot sausages may soon be a reality
May 3, 2019 - Deletion of ATDC gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
May 2, 2019 - Targeted Therapy Promising for Rare Hematologic Cancer
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder,’ study shows
May 2, 2019 - Reservoir bugs: How one bacterial menace makes its home in the human stomach
May 2, 2019 - Clinical, Admin Staff From Cardiology Get Sneak Peek at Epic
May 2, 2019 - Depression increases hospital use and mortality in children
May 2, 2019 - Vicon and NOC support CURE International to create first gait lab in Ethiopia
May 2, 2019 - Researchers use 3D printer to make paper organs
May 2, 2019 - Viral infection in utero associated with behavioral abnormalities in offspring
May 2, 2019 - U.S. Teen Opioid Deaths Soaring
May 2, 2019 - Opioid distribution data should be public
May 2, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “I’m learning every single day”
May 2, 2019 - 2019 Schaefer Scholars Announced
May 2, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Bye-Bye, ACA, And Hello ‘Medicare-For-All’?
May 2, 2019 - Study describes new viral molecular evasion mechanism used by cytomegalovirus
May 2, 2019 - SLU study suggests a more equitable way for Medicare reimbursement
May 2, 2019 - Scientists discover first gene involved in lower urinary tract obstruction
May 2, 2019 - Researchers identify 34 genes associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
May 2, 2019 - Many low-income infants receive formula in the first few days of life, finds study
May 2, 2019 - Global study finds high success rate for hip and knee replacements
May 2, 2019 - Taking depression seriously: What is it?
May 2, 2019 - With Head Injuries Mounting, Will Cities Put Their Feet Down On E-Scooters?
May 2, 2019 - Scientists develop small fluorophores for tracking metabolites in living cells
May 2, 2019 - Study casts new light into how mothers’ and babies’ genes influence birth weight
May 2, 2019 - Researchers uncover new brain mechanisms regulating body weight
May 2, 2019 - Organ-on-chip systems offered to Asia-Pacific regions by Sydney’s AXT
May 2, 2019 - Adoption of new rules drops readmission penalties against safety net hospitals
May 2, 2019 - Kids and teens who consume zero-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
May 2, 2019 - Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
May 2, 2019 - Hormone may improve social behavior in autism
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by infectious proteins called prions
May 2, 2019 - Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’
May 2, 2019 - Study looks at the impact on criminal persistence of head injuries
May 2, 2019 - Honey ‘as high in sugars as table sugar’
May 2, 2019 - Innovations to U.S. food system could help consumers in choosing healthy foods
May 2, 2019 - FDA Approves Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) as First Treatment for All Genotypes of Hepatitis C in Pediatric Patients
May 2, 2019 - Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
May 2, 2019 - Concussion summit focuses on science behind brain injury
May 2, 2019 - Booker’s Argument For Environmental Justice Stays Within The Lines
May 2, 2019 - Cornell research explains increased metastatic cancer risk in diabetics
May 2, 2019 - Mount Sinai study provides fresh insights into cellular pathways that cause cancer
May 2, 2019 - Researchers to study link between prenatal pesticide exposures and childhood ADHD
May 2, 2019 - CoGEN Congress 2019: Speakers’ overviews
May 2, 2019 - A new strategy for managing diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
May 2, 2019 - Sagent Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ketorolac Tromethamine Injection, USP, 60mg/2mL (30mg per mL) Due to Lack of Sterility Assurance
May 2, 2019 - Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
May 2, 2019 - Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism | News Center
May 2, 2019 - Researchers synthesize peroxidase-mimicking nanozyme with low cost and superior catalytic activity
May 2, 2019 - Study results of a potential drug to treat Type 2 diabetes in children announced
May 2, 2019 - Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients
May 2, 2019 - Nestlé Health Science and VHP join forces to launch innovative COPES program for cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - Study examines how our brain generates consciousness and loses it during anesthesia
May 2, 2019 - Transition Support Program May Aid Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes
May 2, 2019 - Study shows how neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death
May 2, 2019 - Research reveals complexity of how we make decisions
Surgery, not antibiotics, should remain first-line treatment for appendicitis | News Center

Surgery, not antibiotics, should remain first-line treatment for appendicitis | News Center

Treating appendicitis with antibiotics as an alternative to surgical removal of the inflamed organ was found to be more costly in the long term and result in higher rates of hospital readmissions, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

“People treated with antibiotics alone have a higher chance of coming back needing further treatment for appendicitis-related problems, such as abdominal abscesses,” said Lindsay Sceats, MD, a surgical resident and lead author of the study. “They also have a higher risk of having a reoccurrence, and the cost is no lower.”

The study was published Nov. 14 in JAMA Surgery. Kristan Staudenmayer, MD, associate professor of surgery, is the senior author.

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a finger-shaped pouch that projects from the colon on the lower right side of the abdomen. Acute appendicitis, if left untreated, can result in a ruptured appendix that can spread infection throughout the abdomen and be life-threatening. It occurs in about 5 percent of the United States population, according to the National Institutes of Health, and is most common before the age of 30.

While appendectomy, the surgery to remove the appendix, has long been the standard treatment, some physicians have begun offering drug therapy as an alternative, primarily to patients who are poor candidates for surgery, following the publication of several European studies showing positive outcomes.

“More and more patients in the Stanford emergency room have been asking about whether they can just take antibiotics when they come in with appendicitis instead of having surgery,” Sceats said. This study was designed, in part, to help answer those questions.

Analyzing claims data

To conduct the study, researchers used claims data from a private insurance database to compare patients admitted with appendicitis from 2008 through 2014. Of the 58,329 patients with appendicitis, 55,790, or 95.5 percent, underwent appendectomy. The remaining 4.5 percent were treated with drug therapy alone.

Results showed that, surprisingly, overall costs were 5.5 percent higher for patients who didn’t have the surgery. The average cost of care was $14,932 for these patients. For patients who underwent the surgery, the average cost of care was $14,186.

“Even if the initial hospitalization is cheaper, when you look at long-term cost, which our study did, it ends up being more expensive,” Sceats said. The study collected medical care data for patients after treatment for up to an average of three years.

“People treated with antibiotics are more likely to come back and be hospitalized for any sort of belly pain,” Sceats said. “Doctors may also be more cautious when the appendix isn’t removed. This extra caution can be expensive.”

The study also found slightly higher rates of abdominal abscess post-treatment for those who didn’t have surgery. 

Low reoccurrence rate

The study did show that the reoccurrence of appendicitis is only 3.9 percent among those treated with antibiotics alone and pointed out that surgery comes with its own risks of postoperative complications, but the authors concluded that overall results suggest appendectomy should remain the first-line treatment for most people with appendicitis

“These results tell us that, in most cases, surgery is still the best strategy,” Sceats said.“For your average, healthy 30-year-old, the alternative treatment is no cheaper, and it’s easier to have the surgery. You also no longer have an appendix, so you’re no longer at risk of having appendicitis again.” 

Other authors included biostatician Amber Trickey, PhD; Arden Morris, MD, professor of surgery; and Cindy Kin, MD, assistant professor of surgery.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grants UL1TROO1O85, KL2TROO1O83 and UL1TROO1O85). 

Stanford’s Department of Surgery also supported the work.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles