Your college-aged son calls you from the emergency department, stating that he has been diagnosed with appendicitis. He says the surgeon recommends treatment with antibiotics, not surgery. Based on a recent randomized trial comparing these two treatment approaches, which of the following is MOST likely if your son is treated with antibiotics instead of surgery?

While surgery for acute, uncomplicated appendicitis has been the standard of care for decades, recent evidence suggests that aggressive antibiotic therapy may allow patients to avoid surgery. Several studies have investigated the utility of antibiotic therapy as an alternative to surgery, but they have been hampered by small sample size, exclusion of important subgroups, and questionable applicability to real-world practice.

A recent multicenter, randomized, noninferiority trial compared antibiotic therapy versus surgery in adults with acute appendicitis. The study was conducted at 25 sites between May 2016 and February 2020. Patients were included even if imaging...

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