Appendicitis is the most common abdominal emergency with a lifetime occurrence of 7%. The peak incidence seen between the ages of 10 and 30 years. A typical presentation of acute appendicitis consists of right lower quadrant pain, abdominal rigidity and shifting of pain from the periumbilical region to the right lower quadrant.
Loss of appetite, nausea and constipation are often present.
Profuse vomiting may indicate development of generalized peritonitis after perforation but is not a common feature in simple appendicitis.
The diagnosis of appendicitis is based primarily on the patient's history and the physical examination. Imaging techniques such as ultrasonography and computed tomography (CT) improve diagnostic accuracy.
Appendicectomy remains as the standard management of appendicitis and may be performed by laparotomy or laparoscopy.
Laparoscopic intervention has the advantages of decreased postoperative pain, earlier return to normal activity and better cosmetic results.