OverviewCausesSymptomsDiagnosisTreatment

With a prompt diagnosis and early treatment with surgery, the prognosis of appendicitis is very good. Without surgery or antibiotics, more than 50 percent of people with appendicitis die. Patients can typically leave the hospital in one to three days, and they can expect a quick and complete recovery. Older adults may experience a longer recovery time.

FAQ

How long can you live after your appendix bursts?

An untreated ruptured appendix is a life-threatening condition that can kill within hours or days, depending on how quickly the infection spreads from the appendix to the rest of the body. There are reports, though, of people who have survived a burst appendix without treatment.

Patients can live a long, healthy life after treatment for a perforated appendix.

How long does appendicitis take to kill?

The time interval between the onset of symptoms and a ruptured appendix, which is a life-threatening condition, is about 36 to 72 hours. Some patients have appendicitis for days prior to receiving a diagnosis, and may have developed serious and life-threatening blood infections.

Untreated blood infections can quickly spread to cause sepsis, a condition in which the body triggers inflammation to fight infection. Unfortunately, the inflammation causes a cascade of changes that damage multiple organ systems.

The severity of the rupture, which varies greatly between patients, affects the length of life after developing appendicitis.

Can you die if you have appendicitis?

Yes. More than half of all people who have appendicitis die if they do not undergo treatment. In appendicitis, the wall of an infected appendix may rupture, allowing the infection to spread into the abdomen and potentially to the rest of the body. This spread can cause sepsis, a life-threatening condition that can lead to organ damage all over the body.

Can appendix issues cause bowel problems?

Appendicitis can cause symptoms that affect the bowels, such as constipation and diarrhea. In fact, some research suggests the appendix may play a role in the development of inflammatory bowel disease, and that appendectomy can even change the course of diseases like ulcerative colitis. Other research suggests appendectomy can increase the risk of the bowel problem Crohn’s disease.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


More about Appendicitis

Written by

Medically reviewed by