An obstruction in the opening of the appendix that leads to infection is the possible cause of appendicitis. The germs multiply quickly, leading to an inflamed, swollen and pus-filled appendix. The appendix can rupture if treatment is delayed.
Appendicitis can lead to severe complications, like:
- A ruptured appendix. If a rupture happens, infection can spread in your abdomen (peritonitis). Potentially life-threatening, this medical emergency demands immediate surgery to remove the appendix and clean the abdominal cavity.
- A cluster of pus that forms in the abdomen. If the appendix bursts, a cluster of infection can form (abscess). Typically, the surgeon will drain the abscess by positioning a tube by way of the abdominal wall into the abscess. The tube is set in place for two weeks, and you are given antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
Once the infection is clear, appendectomy (surgery to remove the appendix) can proceed. In other cases, the abscess is drained, and the appendix is removed immediately.