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Two-Thirds of Appendectomies May Be Unnecessary

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola


Story at-a-glance -

  • Appendectomy is the most common emergency surgery performed in the U.S. Many doctors will even suggest prophylactic removal of the appendix when you’re having some other abdominal surgery done
  • With the help of white blood cells known as innate lymphoid cells, the appendix acts as a reservoir for beneficial bacteria
  • Once your body has successfully fought and rid itself of a gut infection, the bacteria emerge from the biofilm of the appendix to recolonize your intestines
  • Recent research suggests nearly two-thirds of patients with appendicitis can be successfully treated with antibiotics alone
  • In an earlier study, only two of 77 participants who received antibiotics ended up requiring surgery within 24 hours, and only one-third of participants needed an appendectomy after being discharged, due to lack of improvement

You've probably heard that your appendix is a useless organ, an artifact from our ancient past when early humans had to digest tree bark and other fibrous materials. However, modern medical science has again proven your body does not contain superfluous organs that serve no useful function.

Unfortunately, the idea that your appendix is little more than a nuisance and potential health risk has led to the routine removal of this organ. Many doctors will even suggest prophylactic removal of the appendix when you're having some other abdominal surgery done. As noted in a 2017 paper:

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