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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 139-141

Surgeons beware: It may not be acute appendicitis

Department of Surgery, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin-City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. A A Iloh
Department of Surgery, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, P.M.B 1111, Benin-City, Edo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ais.ais_41_17

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Acute appendicitis may mimic several acute abdominal conditions. In perforated peptic ulcer disease, the contents may track down the right iliac fossa to mimic the presentation of acute appendicitis. The objective of this study was to highlight the diagnostic dilemma encountered in differentiating perforated peptic ulcer (with gastric contents tracking into the right iliac fossa) and acute appendicitis. We present the case of a 45-year old man who had appendicectomy in a private medical center and later developed features of generalized peritonitis 10 days after surgery. Following a diagnosis of postoperative peritonitis, exploratory laparotomy was carried out, which revealed perforated gastric ulcer. The perforation was repaired and peritoneal lavage was done. He made an uneventful recovery and was discharged after 3 weeks on admission. Perforated peptic ulcer could mimic acute appendicitis. A high index of suspicion is vital in differentiating both conditions, to prevent the morbidity and mortality resulting from misdiagnosis.

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