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Management of acute appendicitis in adults

Douglas Smink, MD, MPH
David I Soybel, MD
Section Editor
Martin Weiser, MD
Deputy Editor
Wenliang Chen, MD, PhD


Acute appendicitis is the most common abdominal surgical emergency in the world, with a lifetime risk of 8.6 percent in males and 6.9 percent in females [1]. For over a century, open appendectomy was the only standard treatment for appendicitis. Contemporary management of appendicitis is more sophisticated and nuanced: laparoscopic appendectomy has surpassed open appendectomy in usage, some patients with perforated appendicitis may benefit from initial antibiotic therapy followed by interval appendectomy, and several European trials have even suggested that it is feasible to treat uncomplicated appendicitis nonoperatively with antibiotics alone.

The management of appendicitis in adults will be reviewed here. Appendicitis in children and pregnant women is discussed separately:

(See "Acute appendicitis in children: Management".)

(See "Acute appendicitis in pregnancy".)

The clinical manifestations and diagnostic evaluation of appendicitis in adults are also discussed elsewhere.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Dec 05, 2017.
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