Complications of Appendicitis and Conditions That Mimic Appendicitis

The appendix is a closed-ended, narrow, worm-like tube which is attached to the the first part of the colon called cecum. The wall of the appendix contains lymphatic tissue which is a part of the immune system. The inner lining of the appen

Updated: June 16, 2022

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. It is a medical emergency that requires prompt surgery to remove the appendix. An inflamed appendix will eventually burst or perforate resulting in spilling infectious materials into the abdominal cavity if left untreated. This can lead to serious inflammation of the lining of abdominal cavity known as peritonitis. This can be fatal unless it is treated quickly with strong antibiotics.
The appendix is a closed-ended, narrow, worm-like tube which is attached to the the first part of the colon called cecum. The wall of the appendix contains lymphatic tissue which is a part of the immune system. The inner lining of the appendix produces a small amount of mucus. The mucus flows through the open central core of the appendix into the cecum.
The wall of the appendix also contains a layer of muscle, which is poorly developed.

Complications of Appendicitis:

The most common complication of appendicitis is perforation. This can lead to a collection of infected pus known as peri-appendiceal abscess. Infection of the entire lining of the abdomen and the pelvis known as diffuse peritonitis also occurs due to perforation of the appendix.
Delay in diagnosis and treatment is the major reason for appendiceal perforation. The longer the delay between diagnosis and surgery, the more likely is perforation. Once appendicitis is diagnosed and if the patient does not improve with antibiotics alone, surgery should be done without unnecessary delay.
Blockage or obstruction of the intestine is another complication of appendicitis. When the inflammation surrounding the appendix compresses the intestine blockage occurs which prevents the content of the intestine from passing. If the intestine above the blockage begins to fill with liquid and gas, the abdomen distends and greater nausea and vomiting may occur. Contents of the intestine may then may be necessary to drain. This can be done with the help of a tube which will be passed through the nose and esophagus and into the stomach and intestine.
A severe complication of appendicitis is sepsis, in which infecting bacteria enter the blood and travel to other parts of the body. This condition is very serious and even life-threatening.
There are no major, long-term health problems resulting from removing the appendix in older children and adults. However in young children it may have an immune function.

Other health conditions can mimic appendicitis:

The conditions that mimic appendicitis are:

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID):

Sexually active women may contract infectious diseases that involve the tube and ovary which ovary lie near the appendix. Usually, the infection can be treated with antibiotic therapy and surgical removal of the tube and ovary are not required.

Inflammatory diseases of the right upper abdomen:

If fluids from the right upper abdomen drain into the lower abdomen, inflammation may occur and mimic appendicitis. Such fluids may come from a perforated duodenal ulcer, gallbladder disease, or inflammatory diseases of the liver, such as a liver abscess.

Meckel's Diverticulitis:

Diverticulum is a small outpouching of the small intestine which is usually located in the right lower abdomen near the appendix. The diverticulum may become inflamed or even perforate which then required to be removed surgically.

Right-sided Diverticulitis:

Although most diverticuli are located on the left side of the colon, they occasionally occur on the right side. Rupture of a right-sided diverticulum can cause inflammation that mimics appendicitis.

Kidney diseases:

As the right kidney is close to the appendix, inflammatory problems in the kidney, such as an abscess can mimic appendicitis.

Ectopic pregnancy:

If the fetus implants in the fallopian tube or elsewhere instead of the uterus, it is known as  ectopic pregnancy and the symptoms may mimic appendicitis.


Related Articles

Sinusitis: Different Sinus Conditions and Symptoms

Sinusitis: Different Sinus Conditions and Symptoms

Sinusitis, also known as rhinosinusitis is a sinus infection when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen and inflamed.

Causes, Side Effects and Home Remedies For Fungal Infections

Causes, Side Effects and Home Remedies For Fungal Infections

Fungal infection can made people sick in most of the cases. In any case, would you say you are aware that we have a few distinct sorts of fungi living on our skin.

Vaccines to Prevent Shingles: Zostavax Shingles Vaccine

Vaccines to Prevent Shingles: Zostavax Shingles Vaccine

Shingles, also called Herpes Zoster, or just Zoster is a painful skin rash, often with blisters. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Effective Home Remedies To Remove Earwax Safely

Effective Home Remedies To Remove Earwax Safely

Earwax is a common issue, yet in the event that not treated at the perfect time, it can cause difficulties.

Cystic acne: Overview

Cystic acne: Overview

Cystic acne is the most serious type of acne which can result from a combination of bacteria, oil, and dry skin cells that get trapped in your pores.

Factors Affecting Cystic Acne, Skin Care Tips and Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Cystic Acne

Factors Affecting Cystic Acne, Skin Care Tips and Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is the most serious type of acne which can result from a combination of bacteria, oil, and dry skin cells that get trapped in your pores.

Vaccines to Prevent Mumps: MMR and MMRV

Vaccines to Prevent Mumps: MMR and MMRV

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. Most of the people with mumps may have no symptoms, or symptoms may be very mild. People with mumps will have swelling of their salivary glands, which causes the puffy cheeks and a te

Diabetic Retinopathy: Stages, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Diabetic Retinopathy: Stages, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease develpoed in all kind of dibetic people in which retina will be damaged due to diabetes

Suppliers Across World


Browse suppliers across the globe including Brunei, Botswana, United States, Lebanon, North Korea, Dominican Republic, Tunisia, Wallis and Futuna, American Samoa, Germany, Chad, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Tuvalu, Canada, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Togo, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Ecuador, Turkey, Australia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Paraguay, Kenya, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Christmas Island, Gambia, Latvia, Guinea-Bissau, Bermuda, Guinea, Bulgaria, Madagascar, Virgin Islands, U.S., East Timor, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Suriname, British Indian Ocean Territory, Angola, New Caledonia, Reunion, Italy, Eritrea, Nepal, Iraq, Mali and other localities of World as well..