EE Blears *,DS Keller ,CN Ellis
The last decade has marked a paradigm shift in the care for acute appendicitis in children and non-pregnant adults. Although surgical management remains the safest treatment modality for perforated or complicated appendicitis, antibiotic therapy has been proven to be safe in adult and pediatric patients with non-perforated appendicitis. However, controversy exists for the type of surgery (laparoscopic vs. open) and the post-operative antibiotic regimens which result in optimal patient care of pregnant as well as non-pregnant adults. As several authors have begun to evaluate a non-operative strategy for treating acute appendicitis, whether with antibiotic therapy alone or combined with image-guided percutaneous drainage, others have retrospectively analyzed these strategies to pregnant women with abdominal pain. This collective review presents the epidemiology and diagnostic challenges of acute appendicitis in the pregnant patient and a review of the data that supports non-operative management in non-pregnant adults and pediatric patients as well as the limited data that supports non-operative management in pregnant adults.