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Feb212011

Early Appendectomy for Children Better than Waiting

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- An early appendectomy is better than postponing surgery for children with a perforated appendix, a new study says.

Children with a perforated appendix commonly undergo one of two surgical procedures -- early appendectomy (removal of the appendix within 24 hours of hospitalization) or interval appendectomy (surgery six to eight weeks after initial diagnosis).

Medical experts assumed that putting off surgery for several weeks would reduce the likelihood of infection, but new research suggests that the early appendectomy is linked to fewer surgical site infections, intra-abdominal abscess and unexpected readmission to the hospital.

Early appendectomy also appeared to improve recovery time, according to study authors.

"We found that those treated with early appendectomy return to normal activities an average of five days earlier.  Because a child's time away from normal activities limits parents' abilities to work, we believe it is an important outcome fro a patient and family perspective," Dr. Martin L. Blakely, of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and colleagues stated in a release.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

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