Recurrent Appendicitis after Initial Conservative Management of Appendiceal Abscess

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Therapy for children with appendiceal abscess remains controversial. The authors present two such cases initially treated conservatively, without interval appendectomy, that later had recurrent appendicitis. An 8-year-old boy presented with fever, abdominal pain, and a right-lower-quadrant abscess (noted by ultrasonography). During laparotomy, the abscess was drained and the appendix was not found. He was lost to follow-up but returned 2 1/2 years later with perforated appendicitis. An appendectomy was performed, and image-guided drainage of a postoperative abscess was required. A 10-year-old girl presented with fever and right-lower-quadrant pain. Computed tomography showed a multiloculated mass. During laparotomy, the cecum was found to be densely adherent to the pelvic organs and bowel, so the surrounding abscess was drained. Interval appendectomy was refused. The patient returned 8 months later with recurrent acute appendicitis and an appendiceal abscess requiring appendectomy and drainage. Although initial drainage alone of appendiceal abscess is efficacious, the authors strongly advocate interval appendectomy as a critical component of the complete management of this entity.


This paper was presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Association of Pediatric Surgeons.



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