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Archivist: Is appendicectomy really necessary?

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In 1902, King Edward VII developed appendicitis on the eve of his coronation. He was successfully operated on by Sir Frederick Treves, and since then surgery has been the treatment of choice for this condition. Ironically, many years later Treves died from peritonitis, possibly from a ruptured appendix. Back then they had no antibiotics or intravenous (IV) fluids, and appendicitis was usually fatal. The dogma that every inflamed appendix must be removed has been challenged recently, and some trials …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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