About six weeks ago, I went in for nothing more than a routine doctor’s visit. But, as I was sitting down, the nurse noticed me holding my right side.
When she asked what was wrong, I told her that I really wasn’t sure. I’d simply started hurting in my lower right abdomen a few days prior and it hadn’t gone away. She called the doctor in and took my temperature while we waited.
Sure enough, it was slightly elevated and the visit went from routine to anything but…
After a quick exam, my doctor’s office called to get immediate imaging of my abdomen. I was told that in all likelihood I was suffering from acute appendicitis and would be having surgery. How quickly a day can change!
Luckily for me, my doctor’s initial instincts were wrong. A CT scan showed no problems with my appendix and we were back to the drawing board.
But, it did make me curious about this extremely common surgery. What if I come face to face with the possibility of going under the knife again to have my appendix removed? Would I have other choices?
The rush to cut
Long-term scientific research following patients who suffered acute appendix attacks is calling into question whether or not surgery is even necessary.
In fact, the five-year trial out of Finland found that nearly two-thirds of the patients they followed for uncomplicated appendicitis didn’t end up needing surgery in the follow-up time. Instead, antibiotics did the trick.
To make the determination, researchers randomly assigned 530 patients that showed up in the hospital with an acute appendicitis diagnosis to get either of two standard treatments: open surgery or a simple course of antibiotics.
While it was necessary for both groups to remain in the hospital for an average of three days, the antibiotic-only group grabbed some big benefits…
As you can imagine, the first is the plain old fact that they didn’t have to have surgery.
By avoiding the knife, they skipped the risks that come with anesthesia as well as the increased chance of infection. The antibiotic group had a complication rate of just 6.5 percent, compared to those who underwent surgery at a whopping rate of 24 percent, mostly due to infections.
The antibiotic-only group recovered faster too, taking, on average, 11 days of sick leave to recover. But the surgery group needed 22 days to make a full recovery. That’s twice as much lost time!
And, the benefits didn’t end there…
While every hospital stay is expensive, when you add surgery into the mix, costs skyrocket. So, compared to the group that underwent appendectomies, the people treated using antibiotics for their acute appendicitis grabbed huge cash savings as well.
Not the first study to question the old standby
Wonder why they’re still doing the surgery on a regular basis?
Well, I wondered that as well, especially considering that several other randomized trials over the years had found evidence that antibiotics alone can treat an acute appendicitis attack.
But, as you know progress moves slowly… even more so when there’s money to be made.
The good news is that you’re now armed with knowledge. Should an acute attack of appendicitis threaten your health, antibiotics alone are the scientifically proven treatment of choice.
Editor’s note: One of the sneakiest ways medicine profits from your “health” is by recommending surgeries that you don’t need and don’t want. But it doesn’t stop there… you wouldn’t believe the number of outdated, unnecessary and questionable medical procedures doctors are still pushing on unsuspecting patients. Bob Livingston pulled them all together in an eye-opening report he’ll mail to you today for just $9.95 (half off!). Click here to get your copy!