London: Two out of three appendix removal operations may be unnecessary and could be avoided by simply administering antibiotics, a new study has revealed.
Doctors often wrongly believe that surgery is the only way to treat appendicitis, researchers said.
In cases of uncomplicated appendicitis, where the organ has not become infected or perforated, antibiotics are actually better than surgery, the study found.
A Nottingham University team studied 900 patients with appendicitis.
About half were given antibiotics while the rest underwent operations.
The study reported a 63 percent success rate among patients who were given antibiotics.
Just 20 percent of cases require an operation, the researchers said.
“The role of antibiotic treatment in acute uncomplicated appendicitis may have been overlooked mainly on the basis of tradition rather than evidence,” the Sun quoted the report.
“Antibiotics are both effective and safe as primary treatment for patients with uncomplicated acute appendicitis,” the report said.
An infected or inflamed appendix has to be treated or removed before it bursts and causes a potentially deadly infection.
Appendicitis hits about seven percent of British people.
The study was published in the British Medical Journal.