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Non-operative management of appendicitis in children
  1. Nigel J Hall1,2,
  2. Simon Eaton3
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Surgery and Urology, Southampton Children’s Hospital, Southampton, UK
  2. 2 University Surgery Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  3. 3 Developmental Biology and Cancer Programme, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Nigel J Hall, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, SO16 6YD, UK; n.j.hall{at}


While appendicectomy has been considered the mainstay of treatment for children with acute appendicitis for many decades, there has been a great deal of recent interest in non-operative treatment (NOT) with antibiotics alone. Initial results suggest that many children with appendicitis can indeed be safely treated with NOT and can be spared the surgeon’s knife. Many as yet unanswered questions remain, however, before NOT can be considered a realistic and reliable alternative to surgery. This review summaries current knowledge and understanding of the role of NOT in children with appendicitis and outlines and discusses the outstanding knowledge gaps.

  • appendicitis
  • paediatric surgery
  • evidence-based medicine

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  • Contributors SE and NJH contributed equally to the writing of this manuscript, including drafting of the initial manuscript and its subsequent revision.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.