Prognosis of Appendicitis

Updated at: Jan 21, 2013
Prognosis of Appendicitis

Appendicitis is a common abdominal surgical emergency. Cases with uncomplicated appendicitis recover with no long-term complications. Delay in diagnosis and treatment significantly increase the death rate and complications associated with appendic

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Other DiseasesWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Jun 11, 2012

Appendicitis is caused due to acute inflammation of appendix. It usually presents with abdominal pain, anorexia and abdominal tenderness. Acute appendicitis is a common cause of acute abdominal pain and is the most common reason why emergency abdominal surgery is done. According to experts, it is the most common reason for abdominal surgery in children. Research indicates that four of every 1,000 children younger than 14 undergo appendectomy to remove their appendix.

Prognosis of appendicitis

Recovery with treatment: Most cases of appendicitis with timely diagnosis and surgery recover well, but it can get complicated if it is not diagnosed timely or treated appropriately. Experts say that delay in diagnosis and treatment significantly increases death rate and complications associated with appendicitis. Surgery for appendicitis is safe and carries a low rate of complication. Therefore, the aim of appendicitis treatment is to make an accurate diagnosis as early as possible and remove it surgically.

Death in appendicitis: Death in appendicitis is higher in cases with complications, delay in diagnosis, gangrenous appendicitis and elderly patients. Death rate of acute appendicitis is approximately 0.2-0.8% and most of attributes to complications of the disease rather than surgical intervention. The risk of death in children ranges from 0.1% to 1% and increases considerably in patients older than 70 years to above 20%. The risk of death in elderly is increased due to diagnostic and therapeutic delay. Death rate and complications increases in cases with appendiceal perforation as compared with non-perforating appendicitis.

Perforation of appendix: The risk of perforation (or rupture) of appendix is higher in the very young, elderly and those with a weak immune systems, including people with diabetes.Delay in diagnosis also increases the risk of perforation. According to research, the rate of perforation varies from 16% to 40%. It is higher in younger age groups i.e. about 40-57% and in people older than 50 years as the symptoms may be mild, which may make diagnosis more difficult. If the appendix ruptures, the risk of complications including death increases significantly. Besides this, treatment becomes complicated and hospital stay increases.


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