When A Burst Appendix Doesn’t Kill You

An urgent laparoscopic appendectomy performed aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons)

First, the warning label for this story: A perforated appendix can kill you. If you experience symptoms of appendicitis, particularly sharp pain in the lower right area of your abdomen, get prompt medical care.

End of warning. Now for the surprising counter-example. You’ve seen acute appendicitis on hospital shows: The patient hunched over in unbearable stomach pain, rushed to the operating room for life-saving surgery to remove the organ gone awry. That’s the popular image of appendicitis, and it does reflect reality. Appendectomies are the most common emergency operation that general surgeons perform — at a rate of more than a quarter of a million a year.

But medicine is ever-evolving, and the thinking on appendectomies has been changing in recent years. Where once acute appendicitis meant an instant trip to the operating room, that call is now becoming somewhat more nuanced, and is likely to become still more refined in coming years.

Our case in point: WBUR’s news director, Martha Little. Her appendix has burst. And she’s been working in the newsroom this week as usual, burst appendix and all. No, this is not the ultimate workaholism. She explains:

A couple of weeks ago, I thought I had food poisoning. I came in to work late that Monday, but worked long days all the rest of that week with mild shooting pains across my upper intestines. I thought I had contracted some weird virus.

Then came the weekend. My kids, my husband and I went to Fairfield, Connecticut for a family reunion. After two days of whiffle ball and frolicking in the ocean I popped open a Phil’s Blackberry Cider, ate a brownie (I know, I eat like a kid) and got in to the lukewarm hot tub. About a half an hour later, I felt myself crumpling onto the front lawn with intense abdominal pain.

I thought it was gas. My brother-in-law Remi, who just happens to be a general practitioner, was packing up his family to go home. “Remi,” I said, “I’m actually in a lot of pain.” He palpated my abdomen and thought it might not be appendicitis because the pain was all over my lower abdomen, not just on the right side, and I had no fever, no vomiting.

I hauled myself into the house and lay on the couch in agony. Remi said that if it didn’t get better in a half hour, I should go to the emergency room. But with some Advil, it did get better. And after a hot bath, I felt really better, so we drove the two and a half hours back to Boston.

WBUR news director Martha Little (pre-appendicitis)

On Tuesday — because the doctor had no time on Monday — I got a CAT scan, blood tests and an X-ray. The CAT scan showed that there was, as the doctor put it, “something cooking” around my appendix and I should “get myself to the emergency room as soon as possible.” I didn’t panic. But I did wonder if I had only minutes to live.

After going to the wrong hospital, I finally made it to the Brigham & Women’s emergency room, where I was told I would likely have the appendix taken out that night. But upon further examination, the surgeon and his resident told me that I could wait eight weeks for surgery, and meanwhile they would treat the infection with serious antibiotics.

Eight weeks!? “What,” I said, “would happen if the appendix burst?”

“It has already burst,” they said.

What? I thought people died when their appendix burst.

No, I was told. Not always.

The body, they explained, has a way of “walling off” the perforated appendix so that the infection doesn’t spread. I asked another of the four surgeons who visited me in the acute care ward: How much time does one normally have? That is, until one dies from a peritoneal infection?

After our conversation, I realized he had never answered that question. He said: You would have known it was serious when your stomach muscles contracted so much it looked like a washboard. I wisecracked, “How could I distinguish that from my normal state?” He forced a laugh.

I am now on massive doses of the antibiotics Cipro and Flagyl, and staying away from alcohol. I have also read that heating pads and hot baths are not necessarily good for you when you have appendicitis. But I wonder if the water of the bath I took helped take the pressure off and slowed the infection. Who knows? All I know is that these days, if the burst appendix doesn’t kill you, they wait until the infection goes away and then take the thing out laparoscopically, in a same-day turnaround operation.

Wow, I said to Martha. Some people get “walking pneumonia.” You have “walking appendicitis.”

But I was gently corrected by Dr. Douglas S. Smink, program director of the general surgery residency program at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. While “walking pneumonia,” which is not a medical term, tends to be a milder form of the illness, there’s nothing mild about appendicitis that has already reached the point that it has perforated the appendix. In fact, he said, it’s more severe. In the United States, perhaps 80 percent of appendicitis cases get to surgery before the organ ruptures.

The appendix marked in red (Olek Remesz, Wikimedia)

(A brief tangent: I suddenly realized that I could not picture a “perforated appendix.” Was it like a water balloon exploding? A cardboard box torn along its perforations? Dr. Smink explained: The appendix, which is about the size and shape of a pinky finger, gets very inflamed until, in one area, its muscular wall gets so thin that it breaks open, releasing the bacteria-laden fluid inside. But the fluid doesn’t explode out like a splatting water balloon; it seeps and oozes out as if the balloon had sprung a leak.)

Here’s the good news for patients like Martha: The appendix is surrounded by other structures, mostly the intestine, and so, as she was told, the seepage can get “walled off.” One theory, Dr. Smink said, is that a somewhat mobile layer of visceral fat called the omentum — nicknamed “the policeman of the abdomen” — could be drawn toward areas of inflammation to contain infection. So a patient can end up with a pus-filled abscess outside the appendix, covered partially by the omentum.

Still, why not just operate and get rid of the problem? It’s not so simple. An area rife with inflammation is hard for surgeons to work with, Dr. Smink said, and an appendectomy could end up turning into removal of part of the intestine and colon as well.

So the idea is to give the patient antibiotics to fight the infection, wait as the inflammation subsides and then do an “interval appendectomy,” after the waiting interval. (And by the way, even emergency appendectomies are done promptly but not with quite the urgency of old; waiting several hours appears to do no harm.)

A 1940s appendicitis poster (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons)

Twenty years ago, Dr. Smink said, surgeons would go in and operate on virtually all cases of appendicitis, whatever the level of inflammation. But research found that for a certain group of patients, it was better to wait. Now, even the “interval appendectomy” is becoming controversial; a newer school of thought holds that some patients may do best with antibiotics alone, no operation at all.

The problem right now, he said, is that there’s some data on the antibiotics-only strategy, but not enough to make clear which patients really need an appendectomy and which can get along without one. Patients who have a stone in the appendix, called an appendicolith, definitely need the organ removed, for example, but many other cases are not so clear cut. More research is needed, he said, to explore the effects of age, severity of illness and other factors on whether antibiotics-only treatment will work for a given patient.

Meanwhile, some studies also suggest that for many patients with uncomplicated appendicitis — the appendix still intact — antibiotic treatment alone may be enough as well. (I’m imagining myself as a patient with high-deductible insurance. That might pose quite a dilemma: Try just antibiotics, or take the safe but expensive route straight to the OR?)

Why are treatments for appendicitis evolving so notably away from the operating room? The general trend in surgery is that the less invasive, the better, Dr. Smink said. That’s also why more than half of appendectomies are done laparoscopically — through a tiny incision — these days. And better research leads to a better understanding of the outcomes of treatments.

Bottom line: If Martha’s appendix had blown 20 years ago, it would have long since been removed, possibly along with other parts of her. If it blew twenty years in the future, she might not end up having any appendectomy at all. You’re part of medical history, I told her.

She didn’t look very excited.

 

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  • andrea robles

    my friends appendix burst a while ago and they just found out, shes only 13, im 15 i dont know what to get her as a gift though.

  • M. O.

    I would be dead right now if surgeons hadn’t operated three times; to first remove my burst appendix and then to twice drain the abscesses resulting from my ruptured appendix. One abscess was lodged up against my spine, causing me to walk doubled over even after the operation to remove the appendix. After the second operation, I was pumped with antibiotics to the tune of $10,000/day, but I was not doing well at all and still had to have a third operation by a specialist. Maybe sometimes antibiotics alone would work, but I don’t think that is always the case.

  • Paige Was

    I’m so lucky, this may be gross, but I’m so happy it was just constipation, god is good.

  • nafa

    Nafa
    l went to hospital with severe abdominal pain and vomiting. The Dr ordered a saline and ran some tests. The scan was normal and my presentation was not typical. So they sent me home with antibiotics. After 2 days i got the right sided lower abdominal pain and went back to the surgeon who reordered the scan which showed the inflamed appendix. The Dr sent me home still on antibiotics and told to revisit him in 3 days. So here i am appendices and all and doing all the housework and cleaning after 2 kids cause no help. It’s 2 days now and i am to see the Dr tomorrow. Still have the pain though i feel little better. Guess i am a walking appendices after all.

  • Avi the Vampire Hunter

    I was wondering, and perhaps those who’d had their appendix burst- so sorry about that by the way! I hope you’re okay! – could tell me… How long does it take to recover from a burst appendix? Is there any physical therapy? Did you have to refrain from walking for a while?

    Thank you so much! Have a great day~

  • Kathryn Richmeier

    For the last month I have been working like normal as a server and started getting back pain. I thought it was from the New plates we got which were a bit heavier. About a week after that my stomach was in knots so I took a laxative thinking I was constipated. After working a crazy weekend and constant back pain I was grateful for my Friday so I could rest. That day was hell. Imy co workers saw pain in my eyes and I brushed it if as just back pain and constipation. By the end if the day I was in agony and went to urgent care. When the doctor pushed in my surgery area tears steamed down like Niagara falls. He told me he believe I had adenovirus and told me to rush to the er. I did.come to find out my appendix had ruptured and the doctor said my body was nursing it for some time. I would if never guessed my appendix until I was told. Had complications like fluid buildup which was painful after surgery and ended up on major antibiotics and two days later ended up being readmitted into hospital for bowel blockage which hurt mite than all of it combined giving a fresh surgery and the fluid pressure. Finally getting back to normal after a little over two weeks.

  • Dale

    I had my appendix taken out just over a month ago.It started with severe stomach pains which lead to me vomiting all night and i didnt get much sleep.i wone up the next morning feeling okay,the pains were still there but they were bearable so i just went along with my day as normal.then later that day the pains came back and they were 10x worse than before,i began vomiting again and i could not walk.i got to A& E and was waiting for over an hour before someone saw me,they put me on a drip with tramadol and liquid and i couldnt eat or drink.i had a blood test and they decided to keep me in overnight.i had a scan the next morning and they found that my appendix had burst and i had the op about 5 hours later and im completely fine now!

  • TH

    I had an incident where I thought that I had a cyst on my ovaries rupture. The pain was excruciating at first. I curled up in a ball and could not move. The pain was mostly all over my stomach but centralized on the right side. I went to a doctor and he thought yes it might be the appendix. I thought that kind of thing progress quickly and didn’t ease up. I have no insurance for another 20 days so he sent me home and told me to watch if I run a fever or have nausea. The pain has eased but still very tender. I hope I can wait another 20 days for insurance.

  • CGkillZ

    My dads appendix bursted 1 year ago. And his appenxid was ruptured or something was messed up with it for 4 months. Is it normal to live that long? They said it was a miracle he lived and had gain green.

  • Joan Richmann

    I had appendicitis in July 2012 when I was 53 years old. I was on vacation and out of state. I had very mild symptoms, which I attributed to gas pain or constipation. I also had a mild lower back ache. I never had sharp intense pains or vomiting. After I returned home from vacation, the mild stomach pains went away. I returned to work as normal and had no idea anything was wrong. Two weeks later I had a fever for several days and thought I should see the doctor. She ordered a CAT scan and we discovered my appendix had burst! The doctor called me at work and told me to go to the emergency room right away! I felt fine, so I did not believe it could be my appendix. The emergency room doctor also did not think it was my appendix but ordered another CAT scan with dye this time, which confirmed my appendix had burst. There was a lot of infection in my abdominal cavity. The general surgeon put me on two days of antibiotics while I was in the hospital and then two weeks of antibiotics after that. He said we would probably remove the appendix in about 6 weeks after the infection cleared up. I still thought all of this was crazy! I was the healthiest patient in the hospital. I did not feel sick at all! After 6 weeks, the surgeon scheduled another CAT scan to see how things were going. Everything had cleared up. Since I still had no pain and felt fine, the surgeon said he did not recommend removing the appendix. Everyone at work called me “Super Woman” since I could have appendicitis and still show up to work. I know this is not the typical appendicitis story, but it is true! I have since read that adults over 40 may have very mild symptoms and so the appendix ends up bursting. That was 1 1/2 years ago and I have had no problems with my appendix since.

  • David

    It’s good to know I’m not the only one out there ahah. It was confusing and frustrating at the same time when I spent 13 total days in the hospital thanks to my ruptured appendix. I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t operate and why my surgery was scheduled for 5 months later. Here’s my story… it may be a bit graphic and disgusting for some. My story is not something I’m proud of and really regret today. If you experience any symptoms of appendicitis go to your doctor or ER immediately.

    I had been on some medication for which one of the side effects is an upset stomach. I woke up one night with incredible intestinal pain and I spent a good amount of the night on the toilet; it was either that or vomiting. I should note, I was in a great deal of pain but was not keeled over or puking like you see on TV ahah, appendicitis didn’t even cross my mind.

    I went about my usual business. I had days where I didn’t want to leave my bed and other days where I would run 5 or more kilometres. At this time I was also on Accutane, which requires monthly blood tests. When I met with my dermatologist about 10 days later I complained of my stomach pain and at this time told her that my bowel movements were becoming more difficult each day. At the time I saw her, my bowel movements were extremely small and when they reached a particular point of my intestinal tract the pain was unbearable. She looked at my blood work and noticed my white blood count was 17,000/mcL, normal is about 4,500-10,000. Major red flag.

    I immediately went to my family doctor and explained what was going on, but said that all she could do was rush a CT scan. This was a Thursday and I knew it would at least be days before that CT scan and my doctor suggested if things get worse to go to the ER because they would have to give me a CT scan.

    Well, things got worse. This is now 14 days after the first horribly painful night. The Saturday after I saw my doctor I was unable to have a bowel movement. I figured somehow that my bowels were completely blocked. I headed to the ER for what I figured was just going to be an enema or something similar. Turns out my appendix had likely ruptured 14 days previously and I now had an abscess the size of 3 golf balls that was pushing up against my intestines.

    A drain was inserted through my abdomen into the abscess where it continued to drain for 10 days. Not pretty. After those days I was released from hospital and given a weeks prescription for flagyl and cipro.

    The abscess returned and I spent another 3 days in the hospital 2 weeks after I left. This time it was much smaller and I lucked out in that antibiotics were enough to treat the abscess. This time I was given a months worth of cipro and flagyl.

    Now 4 months later I am healthier than I have been in a while. My surgeon mentioned that because I am young, 23, and healthy my body was able to “wall off” the infection. I know I’m extremely lucky and wish I had gone to the ER that first night.

    My surgery was scheduled for 5 months later to give my appendix time to soften up. After 2 weeks of leaking there obviously would be a lot of scar tissue making it rock hard. If my surgeon were to operate on my appendix when it was rock hard he would have had to remove some of my intestine to let the softer tissue heal. I’m guessing hard tissue and soft tissue don’t mix so well. I hope that made sense.

    Moral of the story: listen to your body.

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  • Jess Waldron

    My appendix burst about 2 months ago,

    I was admitted to the SAU with stomach pains, they could not see my appendix on ultrasound so i was discharged. A few hours later i was in crippling agony and had a temperature of 40 degrees to which i was admitted again. They told me they did not think it was appendcitis but they would remove it just in case. When I came around from the anaesthetic i was told that my appendix has ruptured and caused part of my intestines/colon to become necrotic and my left ovary had stuck to the bowel wall. Meaning I had a right hemicolectomy and my left ovary removed.

    1 week after my operation, a foul smelling liquid started gushing out of my 7 inch cut to which i was rushed back into hospital. Turns out the surgeon had not connected my bowel properly or stapled my wound properly meaning that faeces were now leaking into my abdominal cavity. This caused sepsis and a second operation.

    You need to make sure if you feel something is not right that you push your physician to do something about it, my doctors were too complacent and even called me a liar on the pain I was in. You may be a lucky one or you may not and appendicitis is serious.

    • Theon

      I’m sorry, that’s terrible. Definitely a failure on the doctors’ part!

  • E.Y.

    okay. so i used to have mild pain in my abdomen occasionally when i was younger, and they only ever lasted for a couple hours. well, the pain came back a week ago and i think i have some symptoms of appendicitis, though i don’t throw up or spew blood like everyone else’s comments here. the pain was in my upper abdomen at first but went down to my lower right. i am really scared and don’t know what i should do. should i go to the the hospital?

  • Noodles

    Ohh man :(( i have pains that keep me awake, but from what i’ve read, if your hospitals are bad…imagine mine :-<. I hope i don't die

  • Lee Humphries

    I was told originally there was nothing wrong me.
    Turned out my Appendix exploded.
    Hospital couldn’t wait to get me out. No contact afterwards, just to take out the 22 staples I had put in.
    The hospital I was involved in, well let’s just say…..Disgusted with some of the nurses and how they treated me.
    TRUST YOURSELF…YOU KNOW BEST! IF YOU DON’T FEEL FIT ENOUGH TO MOVE, THEN GO AT YOUR OWN PACE!!

    • Jess Waldron

      100% agree with this!!!!

  • rick

    so what happened in the story did she live?

  • NYOB

    So when you feel it, is it like a hard rock in your gut on the right side? My mom’s burst year ago, and was encapsulated. Twenty years ago, I had stomach pains that were so extreme, I had to pull over my motorcycle on the busiest freeway in ca, and roll up on the ground in the fetal position for half an hour til it subsided. I’ve always had stomach problems…since birth, and just attributed it to the usual pains. I have an extra ten-fifteen ft of large intestines, and I’m wondering if tha hard rock I can feel on the right side of my stomach, is actually my burst, encapsulated appendix. It sounds as though everyone who’s experienced the encapsulation, has had their intestines create the wall that surrounds it. That would definitely make sense with my situation. I’ve never had the dough to get it checked out, but just might look into it when I go in for spinal surgery.

  • Barbara

    I had abdominal pain for five days before seeing a doctor. At first I thought I had a flu bug because someone else I knew had one. My appetite was extremely depressed, so I was barely eating anything. I did not have any vomiting or diarrhea, but did have a low grade fever. The outside temp. was over 100 degrees every day, so I thought that had something to do with it. By day five, I called the doctor as soon as the office opened, but he was all booked up. They did have one appointment with the nurse practitioner later in the day. She asked me a long list of questions, and finally erred on the side of caution and sent me to the ER for a scan. They said I either had appendicitis or Crone’s Disease. Crones’s with no diarrhea, I thought unlikely. They offered me something for pain, but I declined because it no longer hurt. The prior evening I took a laxative thinking that maybe I was constipated, but that only made it worse. They rushed me into surgery and discovered that I had a perforated and abscessed appendix. It was removed laparoscopically. The doctor said it was a disaster area in there and they had to insert a drain. Had I not gone to the doctor that day, I probably would have thought I was getting better when the pain subsided that evening. I was later told that many patients feel better after the appendix ruptures. I grew up on a farm and have a fairly high tolerance for pain. I had walking pneumonia twice as a teenager before my parents took me to the doctor. I had a pleurisy in my lung following one bought. I have had scalding hot water poured all over my lower leg as a waitress and forced to continue working 5 more hours before being allowed to go home. The skin bubbled up and required debreeding and physical therapy in a betadine whirlpool several days a week. I have also given birth naturally four times without an epidural. One time without anything, the other times with one injection of Nubane. When you grow up on a farm with 13 brothers and sisters you learn to be tough and not complain because you know going to the doctor is expensive and you don’t want to be a baby. Unfortunately this can have dire consequences. Thank God for that young nurse practitioner who sent me to the ER. I felt kind of dumb for not going to the doctor sooner, but that was the way I was raised.

    • Sean McNally

      My son was 19 when he went to the ER only because I insisted on it. High pain tolerance also. His appendix had ruptured five days before he went in. They would not operate up here in Canada due to risk of losing intestine/colon etc. Antibiotics and Drain and sent him home two weeks later. Never had an interval appendectomy since surgeon figured appendix was obliterated. Thirteen months later another perforation. This time did a colonoscopy five months after that. Clean bowel. No IBD. Finally had interval appendectomy the other day. Small appendix was still there. It is gone as was some lesionary inflammation stuff from the original episode but colon, ileum and small bowel all normal. If they had gone in and operated when his insides were hot both times…it could have turned out much worse. Only mistake made was not having IA done after first time. But it has been done now and recovery was perfect. Only took pain pill right after surgery then nothing. Discharged four hours after the IA at outpatients. All laproscopic. Almost two years of severe angst though.

      • don

        Excellent doctors

        • Sean McNally

          Typo..meant to say they removed some small adhesions. No lesions. But yea..looks they made the right calls. He is one hundred percent and does not even feel like anything was done. The only negative thing is he had a catscan when he was 19..and then one more year after when he was 20..but I do not think that is anything to worry about. Apparently when they finally removed the appendix a few monhts ago there was a fecalith in it…so he is good as new now.

  • Vennisa Lewis

    I had no nurse visit, no opened wound specialist no recommendations….. only saw someone when it was time to take out the staples… Listen.to.your body because I wish I had and went to another hospital because I didn’t follow my intuition … now I live with a life time of stomach and blood problems.

  • Vennisa Lewis

    I had perteriol infection from my appendix… I went the hospital with burst appendix and they sent me how… my health got worst for almost two months until it was at it worst… I was bleeding from everywhere possible and throwing up dark blood.I went to the ER and woke up in ICU … had basically no insurance and 19 yr old . No one told me really what happened, all I know is that I have a scar from my belly button down and scars on both sides of my stomach…. the hospital shut down about the AME.time from lawsuits… I haven’t been able to find my medical record from it… I just recently found the doctor who is only a general surgeon… I’m sick all the time … I can’t wat or drink anything… just lost because I need to know.what happens after the toxins seeping in you for long time.. what’s the life time affects …I’m terribly sick and had to quit my job because of it….can you or any of the doctor’s you know willing to help. I’m a medical mystery.

    • veva

      I feel that this is happening to me and no doctor is thoroughly checking me.. They prefer to call me crazy. I have had a series of problems over the last 3 months and now I can taste blood all the time as not only my stomach but my gums are also bleeding…. I felt a rupture but nobody has explained it. I had an ultra sound and they said it looked ok. I can barely eat rice and boiled green beans and some oats. I feel like throwing up all the time mainly morning and night. I have been to all kinds of doctors and by now if anyone even hints at me that it is psychological problem I want to hurt them on the spot. I have done many tests and lots of research and the results are minor issues. It seems to me that some bacterial infection caused the rapture and I am now dealing with the body overreacting as each separate body organ is being affected. As we speak, I will go to sleep one more day without knowing and tomorrow meeting a doctor for gastro endoscopy and hope that they somehow will find something . I am trying to read and guestimate what is wrong with me because nobody cares. I am also not working because of this and my parents are paying as they can. I am now wondering if it is a staphylococcus infection. I dont even know how one gets tested for that. Tomorrow is another research day for me. I bought a toothpaste to help with the bleeding and hope that it will work for now.

      Did you find any solution?

  • Michael

    Interesting article. I had a unique experience in that I had appendicitis twice. Story below:

    When I was a kid, I ate some McDonald’s after a basketball game and promptly threw it up. My stomach pains got so bad, all I could do was lie down on the couch. My dad thought it was from the McDonald’s but my mom insisted we go to the ER as soon as she got home (about 6 or 7 hours after I started feeling terrible.) I started throwing up a lot on the way into the ER.

    Once we inside the hospital, they took my blood and were going to be doing some tests. I don’t remember why, but they told us to come back in half an hour. We went to a restaurant, and by the end of their meal, I was feeling good enough to eat some dinner myself. We called the hospital and told them I felt better and they said I didn’t need to come back.

    Flash forward about 8 years. I’m 16 and my family is driving to Indy for a mini-vacation. I had been awakened at about 5:00 that morning with moderate stomach pain. The pain steadily worsened all day, and by 8:00 p.m., I was throwing up (enough to fill an entire shopping bag.) We didn’t want to take the elevator because it had people on it, so I took an alternate route. One guy was coming up the stairs and I’ll never forget the look on his face when I stumbled down vomiting into an almost overflowing shopping bag. How’s that for detail?

    So, we went to Urgent Care, then the ER, and they ran tests. They figure out it’s my appendix and they remove it ASAP, since it’s now been at least 20 hours since it has been hurting.

    The interesting part is, my appendix had scar tissue all over it when they took it out. They said I must have had appendicitis before and it resolved before the appendix burst. Right away, I knew exactly what time that was because I have never been sick in quite the same way I was both times I had appendicitis.

    I think that experience speaks to the point of the article, though. No one is saying you shouldn’t get to the doctor; you definitely should. It’s just pointing out not everyone is the same and some interesting and variable things can happen when you look at how our bodies react to infections. My body took care of it the first time, but I wasn’t so lucky twice!

  • Acumagnet

    My appendix burst about 17 hours ago. It hurt for the first few hours, then the pain subsided. I used my magnets on the spot of pain to relieve it. It helped for the nerve pain, but I still feel dizzy right now. I think I have mild sepsis. I bought a few herbs, such as milk thistle, dandelion root, burdock root and garlic. I’m trying to treat the oncoming sepsis with herbal therapy.

    After reading these stories, I’m scared of what I am facing with the internal infections. Hopefully, the herbal and magnet therapy is enough. Otherwise, I may have to go to the hospital :(

    • BK

      Are you OK? Could you comment here again? Given the understanding I gained from my own experience with a burst appendix, I seriously wonder whether Acumagnet has died. I am not aware of any way to eliminate the devastating substances released from a burst appendix other than antibiotics or surgery. It’s not enough to treat the symptoms. That 1940s poster isn’t kidding. If your appendix is hurting or has burst, get to a doctor!

      • kaybee63

        Yeah, kind of wonder what happened to Acumagnet……people die of sepsis even with antibiotics.

    • don

      Come back, Acumagnet.

      • Elly

        Sorry, must be a gone case. Sepsis!!!!!

  • Acrosby

    I am sitting in the hospital with my son right now. His appendix ruptured and it is now abscessed. He had on and off pain and fever for a few days but nothing bad. I read this after the surgeon talked to me and he explained things pretty much the way this reads. They are not doing surgery on him. They are giving him antibiotics. If that doesn’t help they will drain it. In a few months when the infection is gone they will take his appendix out.

    • Frank T. Lofaro Jr.

      And this is why we need to get antibiotics out of our meat! Because we need them to WORK in cases like this! We are helping the bacteria evolve to defeat out antibiotics by allowing ranchers to abuse them (to make their cattle bigger).

    • Katie Benda

      How is he now? My son is in hospital with ruptured appendix and they are treating heavily as well. The scary thing for me is that he first complained about it last Monday evening. .. just an irritated stomach, which I didn’t take seriously. We didn’t come to ER until Saturday. … and they couldn’t diagnose from the ultrasound because it had already abscessed. They kept waiting to see what he would do, thinking it was a GI bug. Then finally the radiologist who came on Monday morning ordered a CT scan and it was confirmed that it had ruptured with a 3 cm abscess. I’m scared. Because of the kind of abscess they cannot drain it. Right now anyways.

  • Chantelle

    i just came out of surgery for multiple things one appendicitice, and learned that my appendix had ruptured 6 months ago or later. somehow i still lived

    • Sean McNally

      I find that hard to believe. Once your appendix ruptures if not removed an abcess forms that usually has to be drained, or at a minimum you must take antibiotics. What do you mean you came out of surgery for multiple things one appendiciitce?

  • Richard

    My appendix burst last year, i ran almost every day with it for roughly three weeks.
    Went into the ER finally and they told me my body formed a wall around it and apperently its pretty rare. Took them a couple months to finally remove it but not before i had to get a bowel resection at 20 years old.

    Im now getting a medical discharge from the army.

    Im told by most doctors my case was extremely rare. Anyone know any1 that did something similiar. Mind you those 3 weeks i was still doing army training and what not.

    • Jessica Andrews

      My appendix seemed to leak for three years I had undiagbosed pain on and off. My appendix burst eventually late last year, still I was un-diagnosed for two weeks with no treatment and extreeme pain.The wait resulted in a bowel resection because the muck had stuck to my small and large bowl. 20cm was taken out all up.

    • Sean McNally

      Yep same thing happened to my son. His walled off. He had his perforate twice. It was taken out after the 2nd perf. Six months later. His bowels and everything else was fine though.

  • Jan

    I’m a 63 year old female and my appendix burst 5 days before going to hospital, it was my grandsons 3rd birthday and I wanted to get his dinosaur cake finished, I did not feel well that day and felt a stinging on the right lower side of my abdomen, that night after the party I came home and went to bed, I saw a vision of my parents whom are deceased and they told me to listen to my husband and get to the hospital. I was admitted straight away and treated with 3 different lots of antibiotics, I have just had surgery 2 days ago after waiting for 8 weeks, I feel sure this was the best treatment as I feel really well now. Thanks to wonderful staff at flinders medical centre in Adelaide sa
    Jan

  • Lyfe

    Coming from someone who had an actual burst appendix, skimming over the symptoms a bit, it reached a point where walking was utter agony, when I arrived in hospital I was pretty much put in for surgery after a doctor examined me. For about a week after I had my blood taken everyday, results of which were off the charts and concerning, during surgery it was found that the area around my appendix had tons of pus. It’s not a very nice thing to have, and I recommend anyone who might have an Appendix problem to get it checked, and when you can barely walk without feeling intense pain, GET TREATMENT. It will save your life. Massive respect to the doctors and surgeons who treated me and made sure I’m alive to write this.

  • Doonan

    This is exactly what happened to me. I had appendicitis two years previously. It was agony. I remember the few days. The Dr said get to the hospital, and I had to walk! It took hours. WHen I got there they said you need surgery etc. SPent the night in ER they gave me enema and went home next day. Stomach rock hard for a week, but felt better. Two years later, huge pain, couldn’t walk, stressed out life. After a week in ICU with blocked intestine ( their words, they were stumped) a CAT scan showed what they said they’d never seen- a “walled off ” appendix, which lookked like a rotten radicchio red cabbage, SO big you could put your fist in it, but with a wall of infection inside. Two years. Took it out and never felt the same since. Either way, a burst appendix can happen. And not die immediately. THey said they’d never seen it, only heard, so it was extremely rare, but at least I had a result.

  • Page

    The above article is so right on! I am a 63 year old female. Two weeks ago I had severe pain in my lower abdomen that lasted about 3 hours. I felt like had had to urinate but couldn’t. I SHOULD HAVE GONE TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM but I thought I had a bladder infection and made an appointment with a urologist (5 days away) The urologist took a CT scan and called me that night to inform me that I had a 10 CM mass that was labeled by the radiologist as ovarian cancer! Luckily they put me on antibiotics even though my blood work looked normal. I made an appointment with an GYN/Oncologist (waiting another 6 days). A my appointment, the Oncologist informed me that my appendix had burst but luckily had encapsulated, saving my life. Because there was a good 5-6 days before I received any treatment, i am so inflamed/infected that they are unable to operated because my tissue is now like a wet paper towel and would only disintegrate. Also they believe that the mass has adhered to other organs especially my bladder and trying to take it out could be dangerous. They are hoping that the massive amount of antibiotics with bring down the inflammation and infection and shrink the mass and hopefully my body will absorb it. I am not sure how the adhesion to my organs will affect them. I see the oncologist (who by the way is the best) in about 10 days for another pelvic exam and CT scan to make sure this thing is shrinking. I learned my lesson. If I feel like I am dying, I probably am and get to the ER ASAP Don’t take what a radiologist states as true and try to get other opinions. I am one of the lucky ones. If my ruptured appendix hadn’t “walled” off I would have most certainly died before I received treatment1

  • j

    I might have appendiciyis should I worry or get surgery?

  • vennisa

    Is there a such thing as a double appendix rupture…. my appendix burst while I was in school…it felt like a bomb went off in my right side: 4/03 then roughly two months later after suffering weight loss 127 to 87lbs..I was at a friends house and again I felt a bomb go off in me. I proceeded to get worst 105.8 fever and climbing, throwing up and passing blood. With no insurance I prayed to make it through the night. I did..I told my friends to help me home and they did. I told them good bye because I thoughtiI was dead. My aunt took me the hospital where I sat for 4 hours till I heard someone say code blue. What did they do to me..I’ve never been the same and I continue to fall apart. no lawyer to take my case..just to find answers as to why I can’t eat why I havehard pregnancy…. anyone one that can help me get.mymedical records. I don’t know what they did…my doctors don’t know what they did.

  • Art Gillman

    My wife is in the hospital with a ruptured appendix. She is being treated with antibiotics because of the delay in diagnosis. THAT is the real problem, unless the pain is in the right spot it is diagnosed incorrectly. The only thing that found her burst appendix was CT Scan. X-ray doesn’t spot it and neither did multiple blood tests. You think going to an emergency room will do it? Think again! Most ER’s do not do a CT Scan. That is why my wife went 7 days before correct diagnosis. The antibiotics take time and the pain is severe.Pain management is not perfected by any means.

    • Suzanne Preissler

      As a nursing student.. my guess would be when ER (after normal blood tests and X-rays) cant find anything.. the patient should request (demand) a CT scan. My RN licence and oath is #1 priority to the patients safety. So I have no issue with mentioning they request a CT scan. Thank you.

  • John

    I came here because I was looking up something that happened to me 2007-2008. It was Xmas week of 2007 and I came down with what most people think when their appendix is about to burst….food poisoning. I had a strange gassy pain that started in the middle of my chest then slowly moved to the lower right side. Soon it felt like a dagger was poking me. I was throwing up and could not eat/drink anything.

    For 2 days I lived off of Nyquil and Gatorade. Gatorade is probably the sole thing that saved my life and I give credit to it to this day. The Nyquil made me sleep through the unbearable pain I was in. Why didnt I go to the Hospital? I dont know…you know when you have a headache and the medicine is in the other room so you just dont move? I dont know…

    On the 3rd day as i was walking back from the rest room I felt a pop in my lower right abdomen. Think of inserting a sword into your right shoulder from the top. It slowly slides down into your chest, then lower abdomen where it stops. Then it starts to spin. Thats the pain I felt that day. Thats the only way I know how to describe it. I crawled into bed put a warm heating pad on my side, drank the Nyquil and out I went.

    By the 6th day I was feeling…better. Surprisingly. Still had not eaten, but my Father was getting worried and He drove 3 hours to get me and bring me home for X-mas(I was in college at the time). On the way back I ate half a subway and did not throw it up! It had been 7 days since I had last eaten. The taste of orange gatorade was finally gone.

    I went to the doctor January 3rd. Appendix ruptured December 23. I feel fine at this point. Do the blood/urine tests, and the results come back saying my “liver numbers” are high. At this point I’m pretty negative about things. The word LIVE is in LIVER. Meaning you fucking need it to live! So we go get more blood/urine tests and they come back fine. Phew…

    The MRI never came because everyone thought I was better, including myself. The problem as mentioned below is that when your appendix bursts and doesnt immediately kill you, the stuff that comes out of it will sooner or later cause you to go into septic shock. A pain returned in my lower abdomen. It felt like someone would come up stab me with a dagger, and then as quick as it came, it went away. It was a strange pain. A pulse that struck my core and vibrated through my body. At first it was bearable. Over 2 weeks time it grew worse and I began to feel generally sick and weak. The first time in my life I knew something was very…very wrong. Not like when my appendix burst. Even when that happened I some how knew I was not going to die, but now I didnt seem so sure. So my Doctor scheduled an MRI and in the mean time gave me pain medication.

    The pain meds stopped the pain. January 20th The MRI date came. Now a month since my appendix ruptured and a month that the bile that leaked out had been rotting inside my body. I remember asking the MRI tech how long the test results would take. It was Sunday, he said the results would not be back until Tuesday. So we do the damn thing.

    As my grandmother and I are walking down the long narrow hallway the lab tech comes racing through the doors with a BOOM, and screams my name while sprinting towards me like he was racing the 100m.

    “See that…gma….im dead…,” Were the words I uttered right before he got to me. “ARE YOU IN PAIN!?”

    “No…thats what i got these babies for…” I hold up the bottle of pain meds.

    “Do you have antibiotics as well!?”

    “No….is that a problem?” The whole time the guy is staring at me with this puzzled look on his face. Then he would look at the MRI papers, then back at me.

    I asked him if i was going to die and he replied that his job doesnt pay him enough to tell me that, and ran away down the hall after telling me to expect an immediate call from my doctor.

    “Want to have Mexican for lunch?” asked my grandma. Why the hell not….

    I get home and the doctor phones me. The conversation went like this:

    “Hello Mr. xxxx, are you walking!?”

    “Yes…”

    “So you can move!?”

    “Yea….should I not be moving?”

    “So your totally fine? You can walk? Run? Have you been eating!?”

    “yes, yes, and yes…”

    At this point Im getting upset. Wtf do I have?! Polio!? He then tells me my appendix had ruptured but my body walled up and fixed my appendix. However the excess bile that leaked out was now killing me. He estimated at the point I was at I had roughly a week to live unless I had immediate antibiotic interference. I remember I was very yellow with jaundice…like really yellow. I have a picture that my friend took of me In the middle of it. The yellowish tint of my skin and huge dark circles under my eyes made me look almost zombie-ish.

    But yea I lived, and I still have my appendix inside me.

    • Vennisa Lewis

      Wow……I was septic and had organ failure because my no one in the hospital would believe me. I’m still sick and my health is skewed up…

    • don

      Damn. When you related the sharp stabbing pain in your side to your doctor, I’m surprised he didn’t come out with APPENDICITIS right away. That was an incredible fail on their part.

    • Theon

      Seriously? At no point during this did a red flag go up? Come on man lol

  • Theresa

    OK went to the hospital Monday in alot of pain they said its acute appendicitis,they just gave me meds sent me home,went back to doc and he says no its just an infection, but i still can’t eat vomiting,fever, nausea,stabbing pain on my right side and lower,so i guess i just better sit around and wait for something more to happen?

    • whitefemaleoverforty

      Hope you are still with us.

  • Atlsexyness

    I just went to the hospital exactly one week ago with a very bad stomach ache. When they gave me the sheet to write down what was wrong with me I put “The worst stomach ache Ever!” I waited hunched over in the waiting room for about 4 hours before being seen by the Doc. He pressed on my stomach a few times and it hurt to the middle right of my navel. Told me after drawing blood my white blood cell count was high then sent me to get a CT scan. 45 min later they told me I had Appendicitis. he said I had the second set of symptoms that people get such as upset stomach, irregular bowel movement, lots of gas (but I couldn’t pass mine) and feeling ill. Usually people get a loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting,fever, and pain in the lower belly on the right. Btw, I noticed my symptoms abt 4 hours after eating pizza and I blamed it on food poisoning too. If anyone has these symptoms, go to the emergency room quick! Luckily mine did not burst, but it surely felt terrible!

  • jmihalchik

    My appendix burst when I was 12 years old ……52 years ago. The doctor said I was fortunate to have what he referred to as an apron of fat below the appendix which allowed the poison to be released very slowly. I think it was about 3 months later that they opened me up to clean me out. I thought I remembered him saying that not everyone has an apron such as I did, but after all these years I could be wrong on that. My aunt who I never knew died of appendicits in the 30′s or 40′s. I was told that it was considered a major operation back then.

  • chrys

    My daughter went to Er on a thursday nite for severe stomache pain they sent her home and said it was a cyst on her ovary with (pain pills) up all nite with her next day i called the doctors got her in and they said go back to the ER she needs surgrey now she had a burst appendix this was in May where she spent 14 dayas in hospital needles in her back where they had to pull out the pockets between other organs Ivys around the clock and not only once but 3 times they had to do the needles in her back area drain tubes in her stomache with so much fluid in there 10qts and now she has had nothin but problems with her ovaries and has had 3 surgerys since May 2012 now shes always bloated for some reason but noone seems to know why this is

  • hjc24

    This happened to me in 2005. I woke up on a Sunday morning with a terrible stomachache that didn’t get better. I threw up after eating a snack on Sunday evening and went to the doctor the next day. I was given a CT scan that indicated that my appendix had ruptured but sealed itself. I spent three nights in the hospital on heavy-duty IV antibiotics and morphine (initially) for the pain, followed by a 10-day course of oral antibiotics upon discharge, that basically killed everything in my system – I told the doctor I felt like they were killing me and he said, “if you stayed on them long enough, they would!” Returned 6 weeks later for laparascopic removal of the appendix.

    The only possible complication of surgery I, among others, have experienced, is an onset of IBS after appendectomy, perhaps related to scarring of the large intestine.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JSRBR4IPFI4HLSAB7GIZ4PKUTI Sean

    My appendix burst while I was hiking to Machu Picchu in 2003. After writhing in pain all night long in a tent, and not being aware of what happened, I actually hiked out of there. Like Martha Little, I thought it was something else like travel sickness.  Except for the occasional fevers and uncomfortable feeling, I had no idea that it was appendicitis. I also considered constipation a possibility. But when I came home to NYC, the pain came back and I was in the hospital for over a month due to complications. I was also a minor celebrity amongst the staff for “surviving”

  • Jeannegall

    As I became aware when my son recently had a perforated appendix removed, the common misperception is that a burst appendix means instant death. It’s a medical emergency, but it is treatable. I wish people would stop telling him he’s lucky to be alive, or recounting in horror a situation in which their own appendix “almost burst!” When I asked the surgeon about these reactions, I was told that only a person lost in the wilderness would likely die of a burst appendix in this day and age. (Of course, you do need to go to the ER in a timely fashion to have your life saved, but the situation is a lot different than implied in the “Not always” in this article.) The medical community needs to do a better job of explaining the facts. I wish we had been better prepared to hear the current protocol that was explained to us in the ER,  that if it hadn’t burst they would operate the next morning but that if it had, it would be medically safer for him to put in a drain and send him back to school for 8 weeks and then operate. (They guessed that because he’d only had severe symptoms for one day that it hadn’t perforated, but found during surgery that it had been perforated for a significant period of time. Great, just when they’d convinced us you shouldn’t operate on a perforated appendix.) People need to be aware that this was not incompetence. This is not an easy condition to diagnose, and can feel like bad constipation or appear to be the flu. (The first time he went to the doctor, she said it was the flu; that night, a different doctor said to get evaluated at the ER.) So, if it doesn’t get better, go back to the ER, don’t assume as Stephen Reed did that the first diagnosis is always the correct diagnosis. It may take several days for the pain to localize in the lower right abdomen. I guess this article has moved readers a bit further toward understanding current medical practice, but the misleading headline and that “Not always” shows that the author or editor is still in thrall of out-of-date myths.

    • Dr. Steve

      Wonderful Jeannegall on your review and comments. My experience with my son was the same (last week) as yours was and your feedback for the author of the article is spot on. Anything else you can share with me front or back channel would be great. My son, 8, is on the antibiotics after his appendix was removed after a significant rupture. He is in the middle of the 10 day regimen. What more can we expect? They say 10-20 percent of kids will have to go back to the hospital because the antibiotics won’t work to kill everything. We also have him on probiotics, 2 hours away from any of the dosages, to help keep the ‘good bacteria’ alive to help his normal stomach functioning. I hope this med try is the end of it; that no longer term issues happen after this 10 day med regimen (i.e. if he doesn’t feel pain again/high temp ect……during this period they say that it did its job). But I know they, in this case Childrens Hospital (great great place!!! in Boston) don’t always tell you every possibility that can happen and can’t know everything about everything. My advice after the initial 4 days of misdiagnoses by other docs cause of a combo of bad medicine and the difficulty of a diagnosis with this issue: IF SOMETHING HURTS YOUR KID THAT MUCH EVEN FOR ONE FULL NIGHT (NOT 3 HOURS PERHAPS) INSIST ON A ULTRASOUND IF YOU CAN GET ONE.. And talk about misconceptions with lay people, they also exist in the medical community. The pain doesn’t always come in the right side till days of pain in the middle or left side up with one’s child the full night as he screams out “my tummy hurts”. My son had a brief temp and then felt fine and didn’t throw up or nausea. And…..his pain did go away always upon big distraction elements like watching a good movie (a sign they told us that it was not his appendix……they meaning the folks at a lesser hospital than Childrens and our primary care’s office). And the newest research, from Johns Hopkins I believe, about the pain coming mostly after you pull your hand back from your child’s appendix but not when you put your hand pressing into it did not work ever: pain always pressing in and not pulling out right up to when the ambulance took him for surgery (yes, the pain finally came in the lower right area while he bent over and then I pulled the trigger in time for a better surgery landscape –not too much infection to operate). So that ‘breakthrough for differential dx’ is limited (which I get that this is a tricky dx especially with kids perhaps but we can do better on many levels even in the way I was educated to measure my son’s pain as part of the diagnosis process. it was sloppy, unscientific, and not operationalized — given in subjective terms like “really bad verses extremely bad”; not objective terms). I’m at therapy18@mac.com and am a Psychologist specializing in adjustment to medical issues. Best Steve

  • Giota

    I liked this article. In fact, the same exact thing happened to my dad. His appendix had burst and it “walled off” like in Mrs Little’s case. He was treated with antibiotics for several days and then after the inflammation went away he had surgery- laparoscopically. He was also treated in the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. All the staff was very nice and his surgeon! They explained everything very clearly and everything made sense. Thanks to all :)

  • jelly bellybutton

    My medical history of a burst appendix which “healed over” left me with abdominal mucus and eventually cancerous nodules in my abdomen. Beware of Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (also known as PMP), mucinous adenocarcinoma, appendix
    cancer and other associated cancers.
    These conditions are treatable but not curable. I advise seeking knowlegable medical experts in dealing with the appendix.

  • Sumo

    The article jests that antibiotics might be a cheaper treatment over surgery, but if Flagyl is the standard antibiotic regimen, that alone will set you back $1300+.  It’s not cheap stuff.

    • JEM

      Thank the collusion between your insurance company, your pharmacy and the manufacturer if that’s the price you’ve been charged:  metronidazole = Flagyl is actually dirt cheap.  How do I know?  I’m a veterinarian who purchases and prescribes this for my patients all the time.  There’s no way I could justify charging $1300/month ($43/day) for the human dose.  Astounding, but much of human medicine surprises me.

  • fracuss

    ” waiting several hours appears to do no harm.”
    Call me skeptical after spending 10 days in the hospital (7 of them in intensive care suffering from a massive infection, heart issues and hallucinations which left me with PTSD for months after).

  • Boston Surgeon

    As a surgeon I thought this was a misleading description of what appendicitis (and the appendix) is and how we treat it.  Also, the picture that accompanies that article is not sufficiently de-identified… a distinct tattoo is often more than enough.

    • Delta 123

      When i was

  • DonJuan

    I’ve had a burst appendix. Had a mildly bad stomach ache, and then it got better (the appendix had burst, relieving pressure). Two days after feeling better, i was barfing and in utter agony, went to the hospital, and had my insides cleaned out (basically). You don’t die instantly after a burst appendix, the infection has to spread, and will eventually lead to sepsis, if your body doesn’t wall it off into a cyst (which is what occurred after the surgery because some infection had been left over- so another surgery occurred).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1370665774 Pattie Covert

    Great article! My sister was in France as an exchange student when hers unknowingly burst. Several weeks of antibiotics cured the symptoms, and the ruptured organ was removed a year later during exploratory surgery. All is well, she’ll be 39 next week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/islandskeeter Stephen C Reed

    This article is absolutely and dangerously misleading. My appendix burst on a Sunday evening while speaking at a women’s event about natural and organic personal care products. I did not experience the extreme pain usually associated with acute appendicitis but felt as though I had the flu. I couldn’t keep anything down and threw up everything I ingested except water.. I went home to bed and the next day called my GP’s office, who told me my doctor was out of town and yes, there was a violent flu in the small town where I lived. I stayed home from my office, deciding each day to extend my bed rest – until suddenly the week had passed and on Friday my son found me unconscious on my living room rug. EMT’s rushed me to Swedish Hospital in Seattle, where surgeons saved my life with a twelve-hour emergency surgery, leaving me with an open wound large enough to secret two television remote controls – 9″ x 7″ x 5.5″ deep. I remained in the hospital for two weeks, at which time a surgeon discovered further damage and rushed me into another surgery, though only 8 hours then. One week later I was released to six months of open wound therapy with visiting nurses every 48 hours. My wound continued to spontaneously spring leaks throughout the six months, culminating with another CAT scan which discovered an enormous DVT (Deep Venous Thrombosis) in my left leg from my groin to my ankle and thousands of bilateral pulmonary embolisms. I was immediately hospitalized again and now, a year and a half after my acute appendicitis, I’m still on heavy dose warfarin. My doctors saved my life three times in six months and I feel everything since is just frosting on the cake – but my point is, PLEASE never assume immediate care for an acute appendicitis – a burst appendix – can be delayed, even for a single day. The writer of the above article told Martha she was part of medical history – but neglected to tell her the real truth is she could just as easily have been just plain history.

    • -

      The article states that surgeons, trained medical professionals, are sometimes making the decision to delay removal of the appendix during appendicitis.  This is not the same as delay of care: Martha Little was immediately treated with strong antibiotics upon her arrival at the hospital.  The article is merely reporting on changing methods of care for appendicitis, not suggesting that readers leave their appendicitis untreated.

      • fracuss

         You may have a point, but the article is still dangerously misleading.  We are not all trained M.D.s.

    • Shadow137

      Stephen thank God your alive! I agree with you 100%. My appendix burst this past Saturday and I am still in the hospital with no date of departure. I am being followed by an infectious disease doctor as well as my surgeon and PCP. My surgeon said if I had not come when I did I would have died within 6 hours. Appendix is absolutely nothing to fool around with!!!!!

    • Icterid

      The first sentence of the article: “First, the warning label for this story: A perforated appendix can kill you. If you experience symptoms of appendicitis, particularly sharp pain in the lower right area of your abdomen, get prompt medical care.” Hardly dangerously misleading. Your GP’s office dropped the ball.

    • Doonan

      Yeah but you’re wrong. It happened to me. Burst appendix very rare, but it CAN happen. YOu obviously had something else going on too.

  • Lgiffee

    This is why we need to hear this stuff, to allay fear and dismiss conventional, outdated (continually) notions. Thanx again BUR

  • 6712

    Really interesting and thorough piece.

    • fracuss

       I disagree that it was through…it was one sided.