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Associate Professor, Department of Surgery
Angeles University Foundation
School of Medicine

ology: becomes visible as a protuberance of the terminal portio

cecum at 8 wks AOG

h rate is exceeded by the cecum during antenatal and postnatal

resulting to medial displacement of the appendix medially towa
the ileocecal valve

- narrow muscular tube containing large amounts of

lymphoid tissue
in its wall

- attached to the posteromedial surface of the cecum

about 2.5 cm below
the ileocecal junction

- has a complete peritoneal covering, which is

attached to the mesentery
of the small intestine by a short mesentery of
its own,
the mesoappendix

- mesoappendix contains the appendicular vessels

and nerves

- base of the appendix can be located inside the

abdomen by tracing
the taenia coli of the cecum and following them
to the appendix,
where they converge to form a continuous
muscle coat

- can vary in length from less than 1 cm to greater

than 30 cm; most appendices are 6 to 9 cm in length

- appendiceal absence, duplication, and diverticula

have all been reported

Arterial Supply: Appendicular Artery, branch of

posterior cecal artery

Venous Drainage: appendicular vein, drains into the

posterior cecal vein

Lymphatic Drainage: one or two nodes in the

mesoappendix and
then to the superior mesenteric

Nerve Supply: sympathetic and vagus nerves from the

superior mesenteric plexus
- relationship of the base of
the appendix to the
cecum remains constant

- tip can be found in a

retrocecal, pelvic, subcecal,
preileal, or right pericolic

- these anatomic
considerations have
significant clinical importance
in the context of acute

- the three taenia coli

converge at the junction of
the cecum with the
appendix and can be a useful

- erroneously viewed, in the past, as a vestigial organ

with no known function

- now well recognized as an immunologic organ that

actively participates in the secretion of
immunoglobulins, particularly immunoglobulin A (IgA)

- an integral component of the gut-associated lymphoid

tissue (GALT) system

- function is regarded as not essential and

appendectomy is not associated with any
predisposition to sepsis or any other manifestation of
immune compromise

- Lymphoid tissue first appears in the appendix

approximately 2 weeks after birth

- amount of lymphoid tissue increases throughout

puberty, remains steady for the next decade, and then
begins a steady decrease with age

- after the age of 60 years, virtually no lymphoid tissue

remains within the appendix, and complete
obliteration of the appendiceal lumen is common
Historical Background

-first appendectomy by Claudius Amyand, a

surgeon at St. George's Hospital in London and
Sergeant Surgeon to Queen Ann, King George I,
and King George II.

-In 1736, he operated on an 11-year-old boy

with a scrotal hernia and a fecal fistula. Within
the hernia sac, Amyand found the appendix
perforated by a pin. He successfully removed
the appendix and repaired the hernia.

The appendix was not identified as an organ

capable of causing disease until the nineteenth

In 1824, Louyer-Villermay presented a paper

before the Royal Academy of Medicine in Paris.
He reported on two autopsy cases of
appendicitis and emphasized the importance of
Historical Background

In 1827, François Melier, a French physician,

expounded on Louyer-Villermay's work.

He reported six autopsy cases and was the first

to suggest the antemortem recognition of

This work was discounted by many physicians

of the era, including Baron Guillaume
Dupuytren believed that inflammation of the
cecum was the main cause of pathology of the
right lower quadrant.

The term "typhlitis" or "perityphlitis" was used

to describe right lower quadrant inflammation.
Historical Background

In 1839, a textbook authored by Bright and

Addison titled Elements of Practical Medicine
described the symptoms of appendicitis and
identified the primary cause of inflammatory
processes of the right lower quadrant.

Reginald Fitz, a professor of pathologic

anatomy at Harvard, is credited for coining the
term "appendicitis." His landmark paper
definitively identified the appendix as the
primary cause of right lower quadrant

lifetime rate of appendectomy is 12% for men and 25% for

women, with approximately 7% of all people undergoing
appendectomy for acute appendicitis.

rate of appendectomy for appendicitis has remained constant at

10 per 10,000 patients per year.

Appendicitis is most frequently seen in patients in their second

through fourth decades of life, with a mean age of 31.3 years and
a median age of 22 years. There is a slight male to female
predominance (M:F 1.2 to 1.3:1)

Despite an increased use of ultrasonography, computed

tomography (CT) scanning, and laparoscopy between 1987 and
1997, the rate of misdiagnosis of appendicitis has remained
constant (15.3%), as has the rate of appendiceal rupture.

The percentage of misdiagnosis of appendicitis is significantly

higher among women than men (22.2 vs. 9.3%).

The negative appendectomy rate for women of reproductive age

is 23.2%, with the highest rates identified in women age 40 to 49

The highest negative appendectomy rate is reported for women

older than 80 years of age (
Etiology and Pathogenesis

Obstruction of the lumen is the dominant causal factor

Fecaliths are the usual cause of appendiceal obstruction.
Less-common causes are hypertrophy of lymphoid tissue,
inspissated barium from previous x-ray studies,
tumors, vegetable and fruit seeds, and intestinal

The frequency of obstruction rises with the severity of the

inflammatory process.

Fecaliths are found in 40% of cases of simple acute appendicitis,

65% of cases of gangrenous appendicitis without rupture, and
nearly 90% of cases of gangrenous appendicitis with rupture.
Etiology and Pathogenesis

There is a predictable sequence of events leading to eventual

appendiceal rupture.

Obstruction of lumen - increased intraluminal pressure

-- distention of appendix (vague, dull, diffuse mid abdomen or

lower epigastric or periumbilical pain)

Congestion  suppuration  gangrene  perforation

Table 29-1 Common Organisms Seen in Patients with
Acute Appendicitis

Aerobic and Facultative Anaerobic

Gram-negative bacilli Gram-negative bacilli

E. Coli Bacteroides
fragilis Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Bacteroides species Klebsiella species
Fusobacterium species

Gram-positive cocci Gram-positive cocci

Streptococcus anginosus
Peptostreptococcus species Streptococcus species
Gram-positive bacilli Enterococcus
species Clostridium species
Peritoneal culture should be reserved for patients who are
immunosuppressed, as a result of either illness or medication,
and for patients who develop an abscess after the treatment
of appendicitis.

Antibiotic coverage is limited to 24 to 48 hours in cases of

nonperforated appendicitis.

For perforated appendicitis, 7 to 10 days is recommended.

Intravenous antibiotics are usually given until the white blood

cell count is normal and the patient is afebrile for 24

The use of antibiotic irrigation of the peritoneal cavity and

transperitoneal drainage through the wound are
Clinical Manifestations

Abdominal pain is the prime symptom of acute appendicitis.

Anorexia nearly always accompanies appendicitis.

vomiting occurs in nearly 75% of patients




Vital signs are minimally changed by uncomplicated appendicitis.

Temperature elevation
pulse rate is normal or slightly elevated

usually prefer to lie supine, with the thighs, particularly the right
thigh, drawn up, because any motion increases pain. If asked
to move, they do so slowly and with caution.

Tenderness is often maximal at or near McBurney's point.

Direct rebound tenderness is usually present

referred or indirect rebound tenderness is present

Rovsing's sign—pain in the right lower quadrant when palpatory

pressure is exerted in the left lower quadrant

Cutaneous hyperesthesia in the area supplied by the spinal nerves

on the right at T10, T11, and T12

Muscular resistance to palpation of the abdominal

voluntary guarding becoming involuntary

psoas sign indicates an irritative focus in proximity to that muscle.

The test is performed by having patients lay on their left side
as the examiner slowly extends the right thigh, thus stretching the
iliopsoas muscle. The test is positive if extension produces

positive obturator sign of hypogastric pain on stretching the

obturator internus indicates irritation in the pelvis. The test is
performed by passive internal rotation of the flexed right thigh
with the patient supine.

Pararectal tenderness
Laboratory Findings

CBC – leukocytosis with neutrophilic predominance

Urinalysis – normal in most cases

presence of pus cells may indicate
bladder or ureteral irritation
Imaging Studies

Plain film of the abdomen

Barium enema

Radionuclide tagged WBC Scan

Graded compression sonography

Abdominal CT scan – gold standard

Table 29-2 Alvarado Scale for the Diagnosis of

Manifestations Value
Symptoms Migration of pain 1

Anorexia 1

Nausea/vomiting 1

Signs RLQ tenderness 2

Rebound 1
Elevated temperature 1

Laboratory values Leukocytosis 2

Left shift 1
The likelihood of appendicitis can be ascertained
using the Alvarado scale This scoring system was
designed to improve the diagnosis of appendicitis and
was devised by giving relative weight to specific
clinical manifestation.

Patients with scores of 9 to 10 are almost certain to

have appendicitis; there is little advantage in further
workup, and they should go to the operating room.

Patients with scores of 7 to 8 have a high likelihood

of appendicitis, while scores of 5 to 6 are
compatible with, but not diagnostic of

CT scanning is certainly appropriate for patients with

Alvarado scores of 5 and 6, and a case can be
built for imaging those with scores of 7 and 8.

On the other hand, it is difficult to justify the expense,

radiation exposure time, and possible
Appendiceal Rupture
Appendiceal rupture
- occurs most frequently distal to the point of luminal obstruction
along the antimesenteric border of the appendix

- suspected in the presence of fever greater than 39°C (102°F) and a

white blood cell count greater than 18,000/mm3.

-In the majority of cases, rupture is contained and patients display

localized rebound tenderness.

- Generalized peritonitis will be present if the walling-off process is

ineffective in containing the rupture.

-In 2 to 6% of cases, an ill-defined mass will be detected on physical

- maybe a phlegmon, which consists of matted loops of
bowel adherent to the adjacent inflamed appendix, or
a periappendiceal abscess.
Appendiceal rupture

-Patients who present with a mass have a longer duration of

symptoms, usually at least 5 to 7 days

- Phlegmons and small abscesses can be treated conservatively with

intravenous antibiotics; well-localized abscesses can be
managed with percutaneous drainage; complex abscesses should
be considered for surgical drainage.

- If operative drainage is required, it should be performed by using

an extraperitoneal approach, with appendectomy reserved for
cases in which the appendix is easily accessible.

-Interval appendectomy performed at least 6 weeks following the

acute event has classically been recommended for all patients
treated either nonoperatively or with simple drainage of an
Differential Diagnosis

- essentially the diagnosis of the "acute abdomen"

- most common erroneous preoperative diagnoses
-accounting for more than 75%—in descending
order of frequency acute mesenteric
no organic pathologic conditions,
acute pelvic inflammatory disease,
twisted ovarian cyst or ruptured graafian
and acute gastroenteritis.

differential diagnosis of acute appendicitis depends

upon four major factors:
the anatomic location of the inflamed
the stage of the process (i.e., simple or
the patient's age;
and the patient's sex.
Differential Diagnosis

Acute Mesenteric Adenitis

Acute Gastroenteritis
Salmonella gastroenteritis (typhoid fever)

Diseases of the Male Urogenital System

Torsion of the testis
Acute epididymitis,
Seminal vesiculitis

Meckel's Diverticulitis


Crohn's Enteritis
Differential Diagnosis

Perforated Peptic Ulcer

Colonic Lesions
perforating carcinoma of the cecum, or
sigmoid clinical presentations.

Epiploic Appendagitis

Urinary Tract Infection

Acute pyelonephritis

Ureteral Stone

Primary Peritonitis
Differential Diagnosis

Henoch-Schönlein Purpura

Yersiniosis (Yersinia enterocolitica or Y.


Campylobacter jejuni

Salmonella typhimurium

Gynecologic Disorders
pelvic inflammatory disease
ruptured graafian follicle
twisted ovarian cyst or tumor
ruptured ectopic pregnancy
Differential Diagnosis

Other Diseases

foreign-body perforations of the bowel

closed-loop intestinal obstruction
mesenteric vascular occlusion
pleuritis of the right lower chest
acute cholecystitis
acute pancreatitis
hematoma of the abdominal wall
Acute Appendicitis in the Young

-Establishing diagnosis is more difficult than in the

due to inability of young children to give an
accurate history, diagnostic delays by both
parents and physicians, and the frequency of
gastrointestinal upset in children are all
contributing factors.

-more rapid progression to rupture and the inability

of the underdeveloped greater omentum to
contain a rupture lead to significant morbidity
rates in children

- Children younger than 5 years of age have a

negative appendectomy rate of 25% and an
appendiceal perforation rate of 45%.

- negative appendectomy rate of less than 10% and

a perforated appendix rate of 20% for children
5 to 12 years of age.
-appendix rate of 20% for children 5 to 12 years of

-incidence of major complications after

appendectomy in children is correlated with
appendiceal rupture

-wound infection rate after the treatment of

nonperforated appendicitis in children is 2.8%
as compared to a rate of 11% after the
treatment of perforated appendicitis.

-The incidence of intra-abdominal abscess is also

higher after the treatment of perforated
appendicitis as compared to nonperforated
cases (6% vs. 3%).

- treatment regimen for perforated appendicitis

generally includes immediate appendectomy and
irrigation of the peritoneal cavity.
Acute Appendicitis in the Young

- Antibiotic coverage is limited to 24 to 48 hours in

cases of nonperforated appendicitis.

-For perforated appendicitis, 7 to 10 days of

antibiotics is recommended.
-Intravenous antibiotics are usually given until the
white blood cell count is normal and the patient is
afebrile for 24 hours.

- The use of antibiotic irrigation of the peritoneal

cavity and transperitoneal drainage through the
wound are controversial.

-Laparoscopic appendectomy has been shown to be

safe and effective for the treatment of appendicitis
in children. 62
Acute Appendicitis in the Elderly

incidence of appendicitis in the elderly is lower than

in younger patients,

the morbidity and mortality are significantly

increased in this patient population

Delays in diagnosis, a more rapid progression to

perforation, and comorbid disease are all
contributing factors

diagnosis of appendicitis may be subtler and less

typical than in younger individuals, and a high
index of suspicion should be maintained.

In patients older than age 80 years, perforation

rates of 49% and mortality rates of 21% have been
Acute Appendicitis During Pregnancy

-most frequently encountered extrauterine disease

requiring surgical treatment during pregnancy.

-incidence is approximately 1 in 2000 pregnancies.

-can occur at any time during pregnancy, but is

more frequent during the first two trimesters.

- As fetal gestation progresses, the diagnosis of

appendicitis becomes more difficult as the
appendix is displaced laterally and superiorly

-nausea and vomiting after the first trimester or

new-onset nausea and vomiting should raise the
consideration of appendicitis.
Acute Appendicitis During Pregnancy

Abdominal pain and tenderness will be present,

although rebound and guarding are less frequent
because of laxity of the abdominal wall.

Elevation of the white blood cell count above the

normal pregnancy levels of 15,000 to 20,000/L, with
a predominance of polymorphonuclear cells, is
usually present.

When the diagnosis is in doubt, abdominal

ultrasound may be beneficial.

Laparoscopy may be indicated in equivocal cases,

especially early in pregnancy.
Acute Appendicitis During Pregnancy

The performance of any operation during

pregnancy carries a risk of premature labor of
10 to 15%, and the risk is similar for both
negative laparotomy and appendectomy for simple

The most significant factor associated with both

fetal and maternal death is appendiceal

Fetal mortality increases from 3 to 5% in early

appendicitis to 20% with perforation.

The suspicion of appendicitis during pregnancy

should prompt rapid diagnosis and surgical
Appendicitis in Patients with AIDS or HIV Infection

-incidence of acute appendicitis in HIV-infected patients is

reported to be 0.5%.
>higher than the 0.1 to 0.2% incidence reported for the
general population.

-presentation of acute appendicitis in HIV-infected patients is

similar to that of noninfected patients

- majority of HIV-infected patients with appendicitis will have fever,

periumbilical pain radiating to the right lower quadrant
(91%), right lower quadrant tenderness (91%), and rebound
tenderness (74%)

- HIV-infected patients will not manifest an absolute leukocytosis;

however, if a baseline leukocyte count is available, nearly
all will demonstrate a relative leukocytosis.
Appendicitis in Patients with AIDS or HIV Infection

- increased risk of appendiceal rupture in HIV-infected patients.

>43% of patients were found to have perforated
appendicitis at laparotomy.
>increased risk of appendiceal rupture may be related to
the delay in presentation seen in this patient
population. 68

- mean duration of symptoms prior to arrival in the emergency

room has been reported to be increased in HIV-infected
patients, with more than 60% of patients reporting the
duration of symptoms to be longer than 24 hours

- significant hospital delay also may have contributed to high rates

of rupture.
Appendicitis in Patients with AIDS or HIV Infection

- low CD4 count is also associated with an increase in

appendiceal rupture
>In one large series, patients with nonruptured appendices
had CD4 counts of 158.75 ± 47 cells/mL 3 compared
with 94.5 ± 32 cells/mL 3 in patients with
appendiceal rupture

-differential diagnosis of right lower quadrant pain is expanded in

HIV-infected patients when compared to the general
>opportunistic infections should be considered as a
possible cause of right lower quadrant pain
>cytomegalovirus (CMV), Kaposi's sarcoma,
tuberculosis, lymphoma, and other causes
of infectious colitis
Appendicitis in Patients with AIDS or HIV Infection

-CMV infection may be seen anywhere in the gastrointestinal

*CMV causes a vasculitis of blood vessels in the
submucosa of the gut, leading to thrombosis.
Mucosal ischemia develops, leading to ulceration,
gangrene of the bowel wall, and perforation.

-Spontaneous peritonitis may be caused by opportunistic

pathogens including CMV, Mycobacterium avian- intracellulare,
M. tuberculosis, Cryptococcus neoformans, and strongyloides.

- Kaposi's sarcoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may present

with pain and a right lower quadrant mass. Viral and
bacterial colitis occur with a higher frequency in HIV-
infected patients than in the general population
Appendicitis in Patients with AIDS or HIV Infection

- Colitis should always be considered in HIV-infected patients

presenting with right lower quadrant pain

- Neutropenic enterocolitis (typhlitis) should also be considered in

the differential diagnosis of right lower quadrant pain

-obtain a thorough history and physical when evaluating any

patient with right lower quadrant pain.

-In the HIV-infected patient with classic signs and symptoms of

appendicitis, immediate appendectomy is indicated.

- In those patients with diarrhea as a prominent symptom,

colonoscopy may be warranted.

-In patients with equivocal findings, CT scan is usually helpful

Appendicitis in Patients with AIDS or HIV Infection

-majority of pathologic findings identified in HIV-infected patients

who undergo appendectomy for presumed appendicitis are

- negative appendectomy rate is 5 to 10%

- up to 25% of patients will have AIDS-related entities in the

operative specimens, including CMV, Kaposi's sarcoma, and M.

- 30-day mortality rate for patients undergoing appendectomy was

reported to be 9.1%.
*More recent series report 0% mortality
Appendicitis in Patients with AIDS or HIV Infection

- Morbidity rates for HIV-infected patients with nonperforated

appendicitis are similar to those seen in the general

- Postoperative morbidity rates appear to be higher in HIV-infected

patients with perforated appendicitis

- length of hospital stay for HIV-infected patients undergoing

appendectomy is twice that of the general population

- no series has been reported to date that addresses the role of

laparoscopic appendectomy in the HIV-infected population.

-importance of early operative intervention should not be


- adequate hydration should be ensured; electrolyte abnormalities

corrected; and pre-existing cardiac, pulmonary, and renal
conditions should be addressed

- efficacy of preoperative antibiotics in lowering the infectious

complications in appendicitis

- most surgeons routinely administer antibiotics to all patients with

suspected appendicitis

- If simple acute appendicitis is encountered, there is no benefit in

extending antibiotic coverage beyond 24 hours

- If perforated or gangrenous appendicitis is found, antibiotics are

continued until the patient is afebrile and has a normal
white blood cell count

- for intra-abdominal infections of gastrointestinal tract origin of

mild to moderate severity, the Surgical Infection Society
has recommended single-agent therapy with cefoxitin,
cefotetan, or ticarcillin-clavulanic acid

- for more severe infections, single-agent therapy with

carbapenems or combination therapy with a third- generation
cephalosporin, monobactam, or aminoglycoside plus
anaerobic coverage with clindamycin or metronidazole is
Open Appendectomy

- McBurney (oblique) or Rocky-Davis (transverse) right lower

quadrant muscle-splitting incision in patients with
suspected appendicitis
*centered over either the point of maximal tenderness or a
palpable mass. If an abscess is suspected, a
laterally placed incision is imperative to allow
retroperitoneal drainage and to avoid generalized
contamination of the peritoneal cavity

-If the diagnosis is in doubt, a lower midline incision is

recommended to allow a more extensive examination of the
peritoneal cavity
*especially relevant in older patients with possible
malignancy or diverticulitis
Open Appendectomy

-several techniques can be used to locate the appendix

*because the cecum is usually visible within the incision,
the convergence of the taeniae can be followed to the base
of the appendix. A sweeping lateral to medial motion can
aid in delivering the appendiceal tip into the operative field.

- occasionally, limited mobilization of the cecum is needed to aid in

adequate visualization. Once identified, the appendix is
mobilized by dividing the mesoappendix, taking care to
ligate the appendiceal artery securely.
Open Appendectomy

- appendiceal stump can be managed by simple ligation or by

ligation and inversion with either a purse-string or Z stitch.
* the stump can be safely ligated with a nonabsorbable
*mucosa is frequently obliterated to avoid the development
of mucocele

-peritoneal cavity is irrigated and the wound closed in layers

-if perforation or gangrene is found in adults, the skin and

subcutaneous tissue should be left open and allowed to heal
by secondary intent or closed in 4 to 5 days as a delayed
primary closure
Open Appendectomy

- In children, who generally have little subcutaneous fat, primary

wound closure has not led to an increased incidence of
wound infection.

-If appendicitis is not found, a methodical search for an alternative

diagnosis must be performed
* inspect cecum and mesentery then the small bowel is
examined in a retrograde fashion beginning at the
ileocecal valve and extending at least 2 feet

- in females, special attention should be paid to the pelvic organs.

- An attempt is also made to examine the upper abdominal

Open Appendectomy

- peritoneal fluid should be sent for Gram's stain and culture. If

purulent fluid is encountered, it is imperative that the
source be identified

- medial extension of the incision (Fowler-Weir), with division of

the anterior and posterior rectus sheath, is acceptable if
further evaluation of the lower abdomen is indicated

if upper abdominal pathology is encountered, the right lower

quadrant incision is closed and an appropriate upper
midline incision performed

-Semm first reported successful laparoscopic appendectomy in

1983, several years before the first laparoscopic

- However, the widespread use of the laparoscopic approach to

appendectomy did not occur until after the success of
laparoscopic cholecystectomy
*appendectomy, by virtue of its small incision, is already a
form of minimal-access surgery

-Laparoscopic appendectomy is performed under general

*usually requires the use of three ports
*four ports may occasionally be necessary to mobilize a
retrocecal appendix

-utility of laparoscopic appendectomy in the management of

acute appendicitis remains controversial
*hesitant to implement a new technique because the
conventional open approach has already proved
to be simple and effective

-duration of surgery and operation costs were higher for

laparoscopic appendectomy than for open appendectomy
- Wound infections were approximately half as likely after
laparoscopic appendectomy than after open appendectomy

-intra-abdominal abscess was three times greater after

laparoscopic appendectomy than after open appendectomy

- principal proposed benefit of laparoscopic appendectomy has

been decreased postoperative pain

- hospital length of stay also is statistically significantly less

after laparoscopic appendectomy
*more important determinant of length of stay after
appendectomy is the pathology at operation,
specifically whether a patient has perforated or
nonperforated appendicitis

- shorter period prior to return to normal activity, return to work,

and return to sports

-little benefit to laparoscopic appendectomy over open

appendectomy in thin males between the ages of 15 and 45
*Laparoscopic appendectomy should be considered an
option in these patients, based on surgeon and
patient preference

- Laparoscopic appendectomy may be beneficial in obese

patients in whom it may be difficult to gain adequate
access through a small right lower quadrant incision.
*decreased risk of postoperative wound infection

-Diagnostic laparoscopy has been advocated as a potential tool

to decrease the number of negative appendectomies
* However, the morbidity associated with laparoscopy
and general anesthesia is acceptable only if
pathology requiring surgical treatment is present
and is amenable to laparoscopic techniques

-question of leaving a normal appendix in situ is a controversial

*17 to 26% of normal-appearing appendices at
exploration have a pathologic histologic finding
*availability of diagnostic laparoscopy may actually lower
the threshold for exploration, thus impacting the
negative appendectomy rate adversely

- Fertile women with presumed appendicitis constitute the group

of patients most likely to benefit from diagnostic
*1/3 will not have appendicitis at exploration
*most will have gynecologic pathology identified
*diagnostic laparoscopy reduced the number of
unnecessary appendectomies

-It has not been resolved whether laparoscopic appendectomy is

more effective at treating acute appendicitis than the
time-proven method of open appendectomy

- effective in the management of acute appendicitis.

*should be considered part of the surgical
armamentarium available to treat acute

- decision regarding how to treat any single patient with

appendicitis should be based on surgical skill, patient
characteristics, clinical scenario, and patient preference.
Interval Appendectomy

-accepted algorithm for the treatment of appendicitis associated

with a palpable or radiographically documented mass
(abscess or phlegmon) is conservative therapy with
interval appendectomy 6 to 10 weeks later

- provides much lower morbidity and mortality rates than

immediate appendectomy

- associated with added expense and longer hospitalization (8 to

13 vs. 3 to 5 days)

- initial treatment consists of intravenous antibiotics and bowel

*9 to 15% failure rate, with operative intervention required
at 3 to 5 days after presentation
*Percutaneous or operative drainage of abscesses is not
considered a failure of conservative therapy. 85
Interval Appendectomy

- major argument against interval appendectomy is that

approximately 50% of patients treated conservatively never
develop manifestations of appendicitis, and those who do, can
generally be treated nonoperatively. In addition, pathologic
examination of the resected appendix is normal in 20 to 50%
of cases.

- timing of interval appendectomy is somewhat controversial.

*Appendectomy may be required as early as 3 weeks
following conservative therapy
*2/3 of the cases of recurrent appendicitis occur within 2
- associated with a morbidity rate of 3% or less and a
hospitalization of 1 to 3 days in length.

- overall mortality rate for a general anesthetic is 0.06%

- overall mortality rate in ruptured acute appendicitis is about 3%
- mortality rate of ruptured appendicitis in the elderly is approximately
- Death is usually attributable to uncontrolled sepsis—peritonitis,
intra-abdominal abscesses, or gram-negative septicemia.
- Pulmonary embolism continues to account for some deaths. –
- Aspiration is a significant cause of death in the older patient group.

Morbidity rates parallel mortality rates, being significantly increased
by rupture of the appendix and to a lesser extent by old age

wound infection
intra-abdominal abscesses
Fecal fistula
Intestinal obstruction
inguinal hernia
Incisional hernia
Chronic Appendicitis

-true clinical entity has been questioned for many years

- histologic criteria have been established
*pain lasts longer and is less intense than that of acute
appendicitis, but is in the same location
*lower incidence of vomiting, but anorexia and occasionally
nausea, pain with motion, and malaise are
*Leukocyte counts are predictably normal and CT scans are
generally nondiagnostic.

- diagnosis established at operation

- Laparoscopy can be effectively used
- Appendectomy is curative.
- symptoms resolve postoperatively in 82 to 93% of patients
- Many of those whose symptoms are not cured or recur are
ultimately diagnosed with Crohn's disease.
Appendiceal Parasites

Ascaris lumbricoides - most common

Enterobius vermicularis
Strongyloides stercoralis
Echinococcus granulosis

- occlude the appendiceal lumen, causing obstruction

- makes ligation and stapling of the appendix technically difficult.
- therapy with helminthicide post op is necessary

-can also cause appendicitis.
-Invasion of the mucosa by trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica
incites a marked inflammatory process
-Appendiceal involvement is a component of more generalized
intestinal amebiasis
- Appendectomy must be followed by appropriate antibiotic therapy
Incidental Appendectomy

-neither clinically nor economically appropriate

- special circumstances during laparotomy or laparoscopy for other
indications in which it should be performed
children about to undergo chemotherapy
disabled who cannot describe symptoms or react normally
to abdominal pain
Crohn's disease patients in whom the cecum is free of
macroscopic disease
individuals who are about to travel to remote places where t
there is no access to medical/surgical care

-firm, yellow, bulbar mass in the appendix should raise the
suspicion of an appendiceal carcinoid.
- appendix is the most common site of gastrointestinal
carcinoid, followed by the small bowel and then rectum.

- Malignant potential is related to size, with tumors less than 1 cm

rarely resulting in extension outside of the appendix or
adjacent to the mass.

Treatment rarely requires more than simple appendectomy

For tumors smaller than 1 cm with extension into the
mesoappendix, and for all tumors larger than 1.5 cm, a right
hemicolectomy should be performed

-rare neoplasm of three major histologic subtypes: mucinous
adenocarcinoma, colonic adenocarcinoma, and
-most common mode of presentation for appendiceal carcinoma is
that of acute appendicitis
- Patients may also present with ascites or a palpable mass, or the
neoplasm may be discovered during an operative procedure
for an unrelated cause.
- The recommended treatment for all patients with adenocarcinoma
of the appendix is a formal right hemicolectomy.
-Appendiceal adenocarcinomas have a propensity for early
perforation, although they are not clearly associated with a
worsened prognosis.
- Overall 5-year survival is 55% and varies with stage and grade.


An appendiceal mucocele leads to progressive enlargement of the

appendix from the intraluminal accumulation of a mucoid
substance. Mucoceles are of four histologic types, and the type
dictates the course of the disease and prognosis: retention cysts,
mucosal hyperplasia, cystadenomas, and cystadenocarcinomas. A
mucocele of benign etiology is adequately treated by a simple

Pseudomyxoma Peritonei

rare condition in which diffuse collections of gelatinous fluid are

associated with mucinous implants on peritoneal surfaces and
invariably caused by neoplastic mucous-secreting cells within the

Appendectomy is routinely performed.

Hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is performed in
Ultra-radical surgery has not been shown to be of significant
adjuvant intraperitoneal chemotherapy (with or without
hyperthermia) or systemic postoperative chemotherapy have
not been shown to be of benefit.


extremely uncommon
frequently involved extranodal site for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
frequency of primary lymphoma of the appendix ranges from 1 to
3% of gastrointestinal lymphomas
management of appendiceal lymphoma confined to the appendix is
Right hemicolectomy is indicated if there is extension of tumor
beyond the appendix onto the cecum or mesentery
postoperative staging workup is indicated prior to initiating
adjuvant therapy.
Adjuvant therapy is not indicated for lymphoma confined to
the appendix.