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Prognosis

Most appendicitis patients recover easily with treatment, but complications can occur if treatment is delayed or if peritonitis occurs secondary to a perforated appendix.

Recovery time depends on age, condition, complications and other circumstances but usually is between 10 and 28 days. Recovery from appendectomy takes a few weeks. Doctors usually prescribe pain medication and ask patients to limit physical activity. Recovery from laparoscopic appendectomy is generally faster, but limiting strenuous activity may still be necessary for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Most people treated for appendicitis recover excellently and rarely need to make any changes in their diet, exercise, or lifestyle.

There are no major, long-term health problems resulting from removing the appendix.

The most common complication of appendectomy is infection of the wound, that is, of the surgical incision. Such infections vary in severity from mild, with only redness and perhaps some tenderness over the incision, to moderate, requiring only antibiotics, to severe, requiring antibiotics and surgical treatment.

Another complication of appendectomy is an abscess, a collection of pus in the area of the appendix. Although abscesses can be drained of their pus surgically, there are also non-surgical techniques.

If the appendix perforates (ruptures) before surgery, peritonitis, a potentially life-threatening infection of the abdominal cavity, may occur. Treatment then will include intravenous administration of antibiotics to control the infection.