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- Appendicitis definition and facts
- What is the appendix?
- What is appendicitis and what causes appendicitis?
- What are the signs and symptoms of appendicitis?
- Is there a test to diagnose appendicitis?
- Imaging studies to diagnosis appendicitis
- Which specialties of doctors treat appendicitis?
- Why can it be difficult to diagnose appendicitis?
- What is stump appendicitis?
- What are the complications of appendicitis?
- What other conditions can mimic appendicitis?
- What is the treatment for appendicitis?
- How is an appendectomy done?
- What are the complications of appendectomy?
- Are there long-term consequences of appendectomy?
- What is new about appendicitis?
Quick GuideAppendicitis & Appendectomy Pictures Slideshow
What are the complications of appendectomy?
The most common complication of appendectomy is infection of the wound, that is, of the surgical incision. Such infections vary in severity from mild, with only redness and perhaps some tenderness over the incision, to moderate, requiring only antibiotics, to severe, requiring antibiotics and surgical treatment. Occasionally, the inflammation and infection of appendicitis are so severe that the surgeon will not close the incision at the end of the surgery because of concern that the wound is already infected. Instead, the skin closing is postponed for several days to allow the infection to subside with antibiotic therapy and make it less likely for infection to occur within the incision. Wound infections are less common with laparoscopic surgery.
Another complication of appendectomy is an abscess, a collection of pus in the area of the appendix or pelvis. Although abscesses can be drained of their pus surgically, there are also non-surgical techniques, as previously discussed.
Are there long-term consequences of appendectomy?
It is not clear if the appendix has an important role in the body in older children and adults. There are no major, long-term health problems resulting from removing the appendix although a slight increase in some diseases has been noted, for example, Crohn's disease.
What is new about appendicitis?
Recently, it has been hypothesized that some episodes of appendicitis-like symptoms, especially recurrent symptoms, may be due to an increased sensitivity of the intestine and appendix from a prior episode of inflammation. That is, the recurrent symptoms are not due to recurrent episodes of inflammation. Rather, prior inflammation has made the nerves of the intestines and appendix or the central nervous system that innervate them more sensitive to normal stimuli, that is, with stimuli other than inflammation. This will be a difficult, if not impossible, hypothesis to confirm.
Kasper, D., et al. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine." McGraw-Hill Education/Medical. 19th edition. 2015.