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Some People With Appendicitis Can Be Treated With Pills, Not Surgery

If you develop appendicitis and your appendix is not surgically removed, it will burst and you will die. You probably learned this as a kid, and so did your parents and grandparents.

“This narrative, which I call ‘appendiphobia,’ has been cemented in medical lore for over 100 years,” says David Talan, a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “But it’s a myth.”

Talan is part of a research team conducting a $12-million clinical trial into the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments for appendicitis. While his trial is ongoing, he says we know enough today to recommend antibiotics—not surgery—to many appendicitis patients. “What you and your parents…

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Last Updated : Thursday, June 6, 2019