Visc Med. 2020 Dec;36(6):494-500. doi: 10.1159/000506058. Epub 2020 Feb 11.
BACKGROUND: As a result of well-publicized studies, the nonsurgical antibiotic therapy of uncomplicated acute appendicitis has been propagated since 2006. A final assessment regarding efficiency and long-term results is not possible; however, nonoperative therapy of acute appendicitis is actually being discussed more diversely and receives a lot of attention. It is still unknown how far this therapy has found its way into everyday clinical care.
METHODS: An online questionnaire was sent to 1,400 randomly selected specialists for general/visceral surgery in Germany. Representativeness was achieved by a preselection according to the geographical origin and the care level of the hospitals.
RESULTS: 14% of surgeons stated that they methodically treat appendicitis conservatively. 38.1% do so in exceptional cases, while 48.8% reject this therapy. For methodically use, sonography or computed tomography is demanded beforehand. Nonoperative therapy is performed more often in metropolitan areas and maximum-care/university hospitals. Patients' request for antibiotic therapy is an important factor for conservative treatment. The main argument against this therapy is "medical doubts." 26% of the surgeons would treat their own appendicitis conservatively. There are distinct associations between the application of conservative therapy, satisfaction with it, and expectations about future development. The response rate was 19.9%.
CONCLUSION: The nonoperative antibiotic therapy of appendicitis is part of clinical practice in Germany. There are differences in preconditions as well as in the acceptance of this therapeutic option with a high proportion of general rejection.