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: January 11, 2018

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

Contact dermatitis: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Contagiousness, Complications, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Contact dermatitis: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Contagiousness, Complications, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Contact dermatitis is a red, localized rash or irritation of the skin caused by direct contact with a inducing substance to which the skin reacts or an allergic reaction to it.

Cataracts: Causes, Prevention and Complications

Cataracts: Causes, Prevention and Complications

A cataract is an eye disease in which the clear lens of the eye which lies behind the iris and the pupil becomes cloudy or opaque, causing a decrease in vision.

 Diabetes in Children: Causes,Symptoms, Risk Factor and Complications

Diabetes in Children: Causes,Symptoms, Risk Factor and Complications

Mostly diabetes in children are of Type 1. Type 1 Diabetese is an autoimmune disease in which your child's body no longer produces insulin or may produce insufficient amount of insulin.

Parkinson's disease: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Stages and Complications

Parkinson's disease: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Stages and Complications

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of the nervous system that affects movement of your body.

Nutritional Needs For Pregnancy : What to Eat, What Not to Eat

Nutritional Needs For Pregnancy : What to Eat, What Not to Eat

Keeping up legitimate food during pregnancy can help keep you active through each of the three trimesters, and it can give your developing baby the correct blend of vitamins, minerals, and proteins to grow effectively.

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the major cause of mortality globally. Cardiovascular disease caused by disorders of the blood vessels and heart.

Cinnamon For PCOS : Tips To Include Cinnamon In Your Diet

Cinnamon For PCOS : Tips To Include Cinnamon In Your Diet

One of the best remedies for PCOD is cinnamon. Cinnamon can reduce insulin resistance significantly which is the main cause for both diabetes and PCOD.

 Bipolar Disorder: Causes , Risk Factors,Complications, Prevention and Diagnosis

Bipolar Disorder: Causes , Risk Factors,Complications, Prevention and Diagnosis

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings including emotional highs called mania or hypomania) and lows called depression.