How does long-term quality of life, patient satisfaction compare for appendicitis treatments?

Bottom Line: Researchers compared long-term quality of life and patient satisfaction among those patients who were treated with antibiotics or who had their appendix removed for uncomplicated acute appendicitis. Evidence in recent years has indicated antibiotic treatment is a safe and efficient alternative to appendectomy. This study was a seven-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial in Finland of patients with uncomplicated acute appendicitis who underwent appendectomy or who received antibiotics. The follow-up included 423 patients who completed questionnaires regarding quality of life and their level of satisfaction with the treatment received. Researchers found no difference between treatment groups in patient-rated quality of life or in satisfaction with the treatment if it was successful. Patients taking antibiotics who later had an appendectomy were less satisfied than patients with successful antibiotic or appendectomy treatments. Limitations of the study include use in the initial trial of an open surgical approach for appendectomy since laparoscopic appendectomy is the current standard associated with shorter hospital stays and less postoperative pain.

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Authors: Paulina Salminen, M.D., Ph.D., of Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.6028)

Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the articles for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, conflicts of interest and financial disclosures, and funding and support.

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JAMA Surgery