If appendicitis is not treated, the appendix can burst and cause potentially life-threatening infections.
If your appendix bursts, it releases pus to other parts of the body, which can cause an infection in the abdomen called peritonitis.
Peritonitis is the painful swelling of the abdomen area around the stomach and liver. The condition causes your normal bowel movements to stop and your bowel to become blocked.
- severe abdominal pain
- a fever of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or more
- a rapid heartbeat
If peritonitis is not treated immediately it can cause long-term problems and may even be fatal.
Sometimes an abscess forms around a burst appendix. An abscess is a painful collection of pus that results from the body's attempt to fight an infection.
Abscesses can be treated using antibiotics, but in some cases the pus may need to be drained from the abscess.