What Can Happen If Your Appendix Bursts?

Appendicitis: Understanding a Common Condition and its Life-Threatening Risks


If you have ever heard someone say they have had appendicitis, you may think of it as a common ailment. However, appendicitis is a serious condition that, if left untreated, can lead to life-threatening complications. This blog will discuss appendicitis, its symptoms, and the importance of prompt medical attention. We will also explore the risks of untreated appendicitis, including what can happen if your appendix bursts.

What is appendicitis?

The appendix is a thin, pouch-like tube that lies near the meeting point of the small and large intestines. Appendicitis is a common condition that involves inflammation and/or infection of the appendix. The precise cause of appendicitis is not well understood, and it can affect anyone at any time, although it is more frequently seen in children. Because appendicitis can lead to widespread infection, a ruptured appendix, and other severe or life-threatening complications, almost immediate diagnosis and treatment are necessary.

Symptoms of appendicitis:

The signs and symptoms of appendicitis can mimic those of other conditions, making it a difficult ailment to self-diagnose. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Sudden onset of abdominal pain
  • Abdominal pain that migrates and settles in the lower right side
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Pain with physical activity

What happens when your appendix bursts?

When appendicitis is left untreated, bacteria and pus begin to build up in the appendix and cause it to swell. Ultimately, the wall of the appendix is compromised, allowing the pus and other bacteria to ooze out into the abdominal cavity. Though it is not an explosive event, this is referred to as bursting or rupturing of the appendix. As the infection spreads throughout the abdomen, patients often experience worsening symptoms, including high fever and severe pain.

Most cases of a ruptured appendix occur about 48 – 72 hours after the onset of symptoms. A ruptured appendix is always considered an emergency and requires immediate treatment. If left untreated, a ruptured appendix can lead to widespread infection, abscess, sepsis (an infection in the bloodstream), and even death.

Why seek immediate medical attention?

To ensure your health and safety, signs and symptoms of appendicitis should be evaluated immediately by a medical professional. The award-winning team of board-certified emergency room physicians at iCare ER & Urgent Care is highly experienced in the early detection and treatment of appendicitis in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX. During your visit, you will be evaluated promptly and may undergo lab work, imaging studies, and other tests to determine with certainty whether your symptoms are related to appendicitis.


Appendicitis is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect that you or someone you know has appendicitis, seek prompt medical attention to prevent life-threatening complications.  At iCare ER & Urgent Care in Frisco or Fort Worth, TX we are committed to providing almost immediate appendicitis treatment in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX. Our expert team of board-certified ER physicians and medical professionals is available 24/7 to evaluate and treat all of your emergency medical needs.