Long-term outcomes of operative versus nonoperative treatment for uncomplicated appendicitis

J Pediatr Surg. 2015 Nov;50(11):1893-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2015.07.008. Epub 2015 Jul 14.


Purpose: Although nonoperative treatment for uncomplicated appendicitis is now an accepted approach, there are few reports in children. The aim of this study was to compare long-term outcomes between operative and nonoperative treatment in children.

Methods: Between April 2007 and December 2013, all uncomplicated appendicitis patients were asked to select either operative (laparoscopic surgery) or nonoperative treatment on admission. For nonoperative treatment, intravenous injection of antibiotics was continued until serum C-reactive protein concentration decreased to below 0.5mg/dL. A questionnaire survey on satisfaction with treatment was added afterwards and performed more than 1year after treatment.

Results: Eighty-six patients chose operative treatment, and 78 chose nonoperative treatment. The success rate of nonoperative treatment was 98.7%. There was no difference in the length of hospital stay between the two groups. Ileus occurred in two operatively-treated patients, while recurrence of appendicitis occurred in 22 nonoperatively-treated patients (28.6 %) after an average of 4.3years of follow-up. The overall nonoperative treatment failure including both early failure and recurrence occurred more frequently among those with appendicoliths than without appendicoliths. Satisfaction levels were higher for operative treatment.

Conclusions: Although the success rate of nonoperative treatment was very high, a considerable number of patients experienced recurrence.

Keywords: Nonoperative; Recurrence; Satisfaction; Uncomplicated appendicitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Appendectomy / methods*
  • Appendicitis / blood
  • Appendicitis / drug therapy*
  • Appendicitis / surgery*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Recurrence
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Failure
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • C-Reactive Protein