A National Evaluation of the Conservative Management of Uncomplicated Acute Appendicitis: How Common Is This and What Are the Issues?

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    • Abstract:
      Introduction: The management approach for acute appendicitis has been challenged in recent years, with numerous randomized controlled trials demonstrating that antibiotics/conservative management is an efficacious treatment, with lower complication rates. Methods: A national survey of all consultant general surgeons evaluating their practices was performed. Reasons for changed practices, choice of antibiotics and follow-up investigations were evaluated. In addition, the role of interval appendicectomy and conservative management in the pediatric population was also assessed. Results: The response rate for this survey was 74.7% (n = 74/99). Over one-fifth (n = 17, 22.9%) routinely treat acute appendicitis conservatively, while another 14.8% (n = 11) consider this approach in selected cases. Main reasons for modified practices included the presence of inflammatory phlegmon (75%), delayed presentation (64%), and recent evidence-based medicine developments (46%). Co-amoxiclav/clavulanic acid was the most popular antibiotic for conservative management (53%). Alternatively, combinations of antibiotics were also utilized. One-third felt interval appendicectomy was warranted, while one-fifth supported conservative management in the paediatric setting. The overwhelming majority (>95%) advocate follow-up colonoscopy ± computed tomography in any patient aged >40 years managed conservatively. Conclusion: Considerable variation in management of uncomplicated appendicitis remains in Ireland despite growing evidence suggesting that the non-operative approach is safe. Reasons for adopting a conservative management practice have been identified and reflect the expanding literature on this subject. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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