Nonoperative Management of Appendicitis

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We evaluated the outcomes for nonoperative management (NOM) of all children with suspected nonperforated appendicitis, including those patients with an appendicolith. Parents of all children with suspected nonperforated appendicitis were offered NOM versus laparoscopic appendectomy. NOM included administration of intravenous antibiotics and hospital admission. If no improvement within 24 hours, laparoscopic appendectomy was performed. Primary outcomes were initial success rate and recurrence rate. Fifty patients selected NOM. The initial failure rate for NOM was 20%. Of the 10 who failed, 7 had complicated appendicitis. The recurrence rate was 13%. Overall, 34 (68%) patients avoided appendectomy. Patients with an appendicolith had a higher initial failure rate (37%) compared to patients without an appendicolith (10%; P < .05). NOM is feasible and effective in pediatric nonperforated appendicitis. The presence of an appendicolith was associated with a higher failure rate but is not an absolute contraindication for NOM.

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