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Preoperative CT scans may reduce unnecessary appendectomies in younger wome

Category: General Health

According to a recent study, the use of preoperative computed tomography (CT) scans on women of a reproductive age with suspected acute appendicitis may help reduce needless surgeries.

Dr Courtney Coursey, a radiologist at Emory University, and her colleagues studied the medical records of over 900 patients who had an emergency appendectomy between 1998 and 2007. They found that an increased use of CT scans coincided with a dramatic decrease in the rate of unnecessary surgeries among women aged 45 or younger.

In 1998, nearly 43 percent of emergency appendectomies were found to be unnecessary, compared to only 7 percent in 2007. In that time, the number of patients who had preoperative CT scans increased from 18.5 percent to 93.2 percent, according to Health Day.

However, the researchers also found that CT scans did not lead to a lower percentage of unnecessary appendectomies in men or women over the age of 45. These results may be due to the fact that those groups already had low rates of needless surgeries compared to younger women, who are often misdiagnosed with appendicitis because of gynecological factors.

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