HealthDay News – For patients being treated for uncomplicated acute appendicitis, quality of life (QOL) is similar at 7 years after appendectomy or antibiotic therapy, according to a study published online February 19 in JAMA Surgery.

Suvi Sippola, MD, from Turku University Hospital in Finland, and colleagues assessed postintervention QOL and patient satisfaction and treatment preference during follow-up of a randomized trial comparing appendectomy to antibiotics among patients with acute appendicitis. Overall, 423 patients were available at a median follow-up of 7 years: 206 and 217 took antibiotics and underwent appendectomy, respectively.

The researchers found that QOL was similar between the appendectomy and antibiotic groups (median health index value, 1.0 in both groups; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.0; P =.96). Satisfaction with the treatment was higher for patients who underwent appendectomy vs those who took antibiotics (68 vs 53% very satisfied). No difference was seen in patient satisfaction after successful antibiotic treatment vs appendectomy (cumulative odds ratio [COR], 7.8; 95% CI, 0.5 to 1.3; P <.36). Satisfaction was higher for patients with appendectomy or successful antibiotic therapy vs antibiotic patients who later underwent appendectomy (CORs, 7.7 [95% CI, 4.6 to 12.9; P <.001] and 9.7 [95% CI, 5.4 to 15.3; P <.001], respectively).

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“The Appendicitis Acuta trial provides compelling evidence that most patients with acute appendicitis can be treated without surgery,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.


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One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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