Having your appendix taken out may be a common, ho-hum procedure as far as surgeries go, but a new study suggests it may be too common. British researchers say antibiotics could be a better alternative, reports the BBC. Their study found that two-thirds of patients treated with the drugs for a year were just fine without surgery. It applied to those with uncomplicated cases—an inflamed appendix, say, rather than a perforated one.
"We need to consider treating with antibiotics as a significant number will get better," says one researcher. One caveat: About 20% of patients had a recurrence within a year, a figure that would likely need to come down before the practice becomes widespread. "It is questionable whether a failure rate of 20% within one year is acceptable," says one doctor. (Read more appendix stories.)