In addition, doctors influence a patient's decision by what they say, he added.
"You could say, 'With antibiotics, there is a four-in-five chance that you won't need an operation.' That seems very reasonable," he said. "But you could say, '20 percent of patients do come back after antibiotics and they have to have their appendix out; maybe we should just take out your appendix.'"
The best a patient can do is make an informed choice by asking questions, Schulman added.
For more on appendicitis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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