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
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.