Diverticulitis and Appendicitis in the Elderly

  • Scott C. Thornton


This chapter deals with diverticular disease and appendicitis in the elderly. Diverticular disease increases in incidence with age and also appears to present with diffuse peritonitis more frequently in old than in young patients. Acute appendicitis in the elderly accounts for 5–10% of all appendicitis, and old patients tend to present more frequently with advanced disease than do young groups. There is good evidence that the elderly present more frequently in an atypical fashion with both of these diseases compared with their younger counterparts. Abdominal pain may be absent or not greatly perceived in older patients. Furthermore, it is well known that emergency operations in the elderly are associated with significantly higher mortality and morbidity rates than similar operations on younger patients. Thus, old patients present atypically, often with more advanced disease and have higher complication and death rates than the young. This chapter attempts to explain these findings.


Acute Appendicitis Diverticular Disease Primary Anastomosis Intraluminal Pressure Open Appendectomy 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott C. Thornton

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