Medicine: Spare the Knife?

In acute appendicitis, physicians and surgeons have been almost unanimous for more than half a century that the thing to do was to cut out the diseased and apparently useless organ as fast as possible. In the last dozen years, many have wondered whether antibiotics might do the job as well as the scalpel, but few have dared to take a chance. In the British Medical Journal, Surgeon Eric Coldrey reports that, in three years at Rotherham Hospital in Yorkshire, he has taken this chance in 137 cases of acute appendicitis and...

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