Appendicitis, is treatment without surgery a good idea or fad?

Appendicitis is a common ailment afflicting about 240,000 people in the United States each year.

The average cost of treatment is $33, 000 according to an article published in 2009. It has certainly not gotten any cheaper since then.

Some European countries with government-funded health care were the first to try to find a way to lower the cost of appendicitis management. They attempted to treat with antibiotics alone and no surgery.

Another group to use the non-operative approach is the Navy. Bed rest and antibiotics have long been the chosen treatment of appendicitis on a navy ship without a surgeon until evacuation is possible. This approach was considered far better than attempted surgery by an inexperienced physician or corpsman.

In the Bitterroot Valley, the average appendicitis patient is seen within 24 hours of the onset of their symptoms of increasing lower abdominal pain. Usually they are seen in the Emergency Room and a CT scan of the abdomen is performed. A diagnosis of appendicitis is made and a surgeon called.

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