Acute appendicitis is one of the most common surgical emergencies, and it is treated definitively with appendectomy. Recurrent appendicitis is a rare entity, being reported after approximately 1 in 50,000 appendectomies. It is typically caused by inflammation of the appendiceal stump. Inflammation of a retained appendiceal tip is a unique entity that can also cause recurrent appendicitis and presents similarly to primary appendicitis.
We present a case of a 50-year-old man who had undergone laparoscopic appendectomy 1 year earlier and who subsequently presented with a chief complaint of right lower quadrant abdominal pain. The diagnosis of recurrent appendicitis caused by a retained appendiceal tip was made after a computed tomography scan. The patient underwent successful laparoscopic removal of the retained appendiceal fragment.
Why Should an Emergency Physician be Aware of This?
The etiology of recurrent appendicitis is separate from the stump appendicitis that has been well described in the literature. Retained tip appendicitis poses a diagnostic dilemma because it is uncommon and, if missed, can lead to complications, such as perforation and severe sepsis. Recurrent appendicitis must be in the differential diagnosis for patients who are post-appendectomy and who present with right lower quadrant abdominal pain.
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Published online: June 04, 2019
Accepted: March 30, 2019
Received in revised form: March 6, 2019
Received: November 17, 2018
Reprints are not available from the authors.
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