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Acute appendicitis. Can I experience a life-threatening attack later or should I go ahead with surgery?

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My Dad is 90 years old and has been diagnosed with acute appendicitis. They are now saying that he does not need surgery. Can he expereince a life-threatening attack later, or should he go ahead with the surgery? He is in great health otherwise.
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Abdominal Pain
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.

The treatment of any condition always involves a careful assessment of the risk benefit ratio. In the case of your father, it is possible that a conservative approach is being taken in order to avoid the risk of anaesthesia. An anaesthesiologist will be better able to assess the risk.
The treatment of acute appendicitis is usually surgical but a conservative approach may be used in some cases like this one. The usual conservative approach involves allowing the condition to settle down. There are several advantages of this approach like high success and low recurrence rates, reduced morbidity and mortality, less pain, shorter hospitalization, and reduced costs.
Recurrent attacks can occur but I would suggest that you follow your surgeon’s advice and not get the surgery done. If you want to be doubly sure, you can consult an anaesthesiologist who can accurately tell whether your father is a good candidate for surgery.
I hope I have answered your query. I shall be glad to answer any further questions.


Dr Sujeet N Charugulla,
Consultant Physician.
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