What are the diagnostic and surgical goals concerning appendicitis in the emergency department (ED)?

Updated: Jul 23, 2018
  • Author: Sandy Craig, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Appendectomy remains the only curative treatment of appendicitis (see Treatment). The surgeon's goals are to evaluate a relatively small population of patients referred for suspected appendicitis and to minimize the negative appendectomy rate without increasing the incidence of perforation. The emergency department (ED) clinician must evaluate the larger group of patients who present to the ED with abdominal pain of all etiologies with the goal of approaching 100% sensitivity for the diagnosis in a time-, cost-, and consultation-efficient manner.

Go to Pediatric Appendicitis for more information on this topic.

For patient education information, see the Digestive Disorders Center as well as Appendicitis and Abdominal Pain in Adults.

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