About this disease

What it is about

Appendicitis is the most common cause of so-called acute abdomen and occurs in Western countries with a frequency of about 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year. The risk of developing appendicitis in the course of a lifetime is almost 10%. Children and adolescents and young adults are most commonly affected. 38% of all appendectomies are in the 5 to 19 age group, and 58% are in the 5 to 29 age group.

Symptoms and consequences

Classically, there is pain in the area of the belly button as well as in the stomach area, which shifts to the right lower abdomen within a few hours. Patients often also suffer from loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting and may develop a fever of up to 39°C. In older individuals, the symptoms are not as pronounced, so the symptoms are not as easily attributed (so-called senile appendicitis). The symptoms of acute appendicitis are not always typical, so that the diagnosis can be difficult.

How we can help you

Examination and diagnosis

The diagnosis of appendicitis is made during the medical examination. The most important of these are a detailed interview, blood tests, ultrasound and, in individual cases, computer tomography. There is no examination method that can confirm or exclude appendicitis with certainty. The surgeon's discretion plays an essential role in the decision for or against surgery.


The treatment of choice is surgical removal of the appendix. The procedure is usually performed using the so-called keyhole technique (minimally invasive). In individual cases, antibiotic, non-surgical therapy is also possible. In these cases, surgery is often necessary at a later stage, but this can then be performed without increased risk.

Responsible departments

Visceral Surgery


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