Appendectomy After Ulcerative Colitis – Improved Symptoms – Is this Common?

Hey UC’ers and followers of the site,

I received this email below a few minutes ago, and I’d love for anybody with some thoughts or personal experiences who can relate to chime in.

below is the email:

Hi Adam! I know that you hear from so many of us so often, but, I find your site and message board so much less intimidating than others.

Anyway, I have a brief story for you.

I was hospitalized 11 weeks ago due to severe pain around my bellybutton and lower right hand side.

Admission and an appendectomy followed.

Interestingly, I was admitted 13 months ago for the same pain and the CT found a stone lodged in my appendix; they gave me a course of antibiotics and decided to send me home.

The next month (August of 2015), I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.

I started Remicade in March of 2016 in order to get off of the Pred/Asacol combo. I have gone every 8 weeks since, with the exception of these last 11 due to the surgery and this, why I am writing to you.

[highlight]I have had no symptoms, other than diet related… [/highlight]which I had before (can’t give up the morning coffee).

I was rescheduled for my Remicade last Friday, but decided to wait and see my Gastro. today first. I do not want to go back on the Remicade, but I am a bit scared not to. I know that the Doc will tell me to resume the treatment, but, frankly, I don’t want to.

I’m wishing on a star here that my body is functioning better and that I can possibly control the symptoms without meds. I hate meds and the thought of being on Remicade indefinitely makes me sick to my stomach (pun intended).

Any stories or thoughts on appendectomy after UC and improvement of symptoms? I have been reading studies about the before and after cases, but I’m interested in the opinions of fellow UC’ers. I’m shooting in the dark here a little bit, but any days without symptoms is a good day. Wishing you and my fellow UC’ers a Happy Halloween and good health.

boooo to the halloweeners out there!

boooo to the halloweeners out there!

So there’s the story/email that I received.

Does anybody have something to add that might help out this UC’er who is in a bit of a mental/physical dilema with what to do next?

Thank you so much to the writer, and to all of you who follow the site and if you’re getting ready or already got your trick-or-treating in…don’t eat all the candy tonight…please:)




I was able to find a published article from PubMed (after about a 3 second search…it’s easy guys, you can do it to..there’s many out there:))

That study is titled:

Meta-analysis of the association between appendiceal orifice inflammation and appendectomy and ulcerative colitisthe full study can be viewed here[button link=”″ style=”info” window=”yes”]Appendix and Colitis Study.[/button] 

Here was another study, this one you would need to email the scientists to see the full documented results:

The Link between the Appendix and Ulcerative Colitis: Clinical Relevance and Potential Immunological Mechanisms.

(If you go to the link above, and google search the scientists names, I suspect you won’t have a hard time tracking them down either:)

18 thoughts on “Appendectomy After Ulcerative Colitis – Improved Symptoms – Is this Common?”

  1. Hey,
    One of my specialists put me on a trial to remove my appendix and see if it improved my colitis. Unfortunately it made little to no difference. I’ve also been told to go on remicade in the past which I have consistently politely declined.

  2. How ironic! Ijust had my appendix removed a week ago and have not had any uc symptoms as of yet. I only take Lialda, 2X a day, before the surgery. I have not taken one Lialda so far. I never thought about associating uc and my appendix, but will watch more closely now.

  3. I had a bad appendicitis that went untreated for > 1 week in hospital as the general surgeon was convinced it was UC (despite lack of UC symptoms, aside from pain). Eventually my appendix burst. I recovered fine; took my regular mesalazine drugs as normal; no problem. Years later I had a bad flare up and was treated with remicade (didn’t work) and IV hydrocortisone (necessary evil). After the HC kicked in I gave up Remicade and took Azothiprine for a while but wanted to be as drug free as possible so I gave that up too. I’m now down to mesalazine-only and doing good with zero symptoms (except insomnia).
    I don’t know if any of this is useful info but I hope you find a solution that works for you and enjoy some decent remission.

  4. “A course of antibiotics and a month later diagnosed with ulcerative colitis”…. I wonder how many of the 14,000 site participants would have a similar history resulting in IBS , IBD or c-def.!

  5. Hello,

    Sorry, I have no idea about the appendix/ UC relationship but I can understand your apprehension about the Remicade treatment, especially since your symptoms don’t seem to be ultra severe at this point.

    I guess just ‘go with your gut’ and choose the treatment that sits well with you. You can always start it up again if you find you need to.

    Hope you get some answers soon!


  6. I have had UC since 1982.
    A few Years ago I presented this question on here.
    may of 2012 I had severe stomach pains above my belly button and my ascending colon area.
    Morphine killed the pain. They ran CT scan and said I had inflammation in my ascending and descending colon. Also quarantined me thinking I had C Diff. I had been in a flare for the past 4 months. After 5 days in hospital and getting prednisone by IV they sent me home on my regular meds. That helped to heal up my flare.

    I am able to access medical test results online and from those tests it mentioned some inflammation of appendix. Can’t remember exact words. But it was never mentioned.

    Periodically I would feel like someone used tweezers down around appendix. On Dec. 20, 2012 I went in for colonoscopy. Prior to going under, I mentioned to my GI that I got these twinges…could it be my appendix? He looked at me…chuckled…and said I can look and see!

    When I came out of scoping…he said that my appendix was indeed inflamed and needed out yesterday. He was sure why I never presented symptoms…but ‘thinks’ that the mercaptopurine which suppresses immune system kept my appendix from becoming inflamed. The next day, 12/21/2012 which by the way was the day the world was supposed to end….I had my appendix out, I guess the world ended for my appendix!

    Knock on wood since then, my gut has been relatively quiet…I am on prednisone, apriso, mercaptopurine. Maintenance doses of all.

    I did ask if anyone else had their appendix out and is there a connection.

    Found out that the appendix is a place that releases healthy bacteria to the gut.

    Thanks for letting me share again!

  7. To me the antibiotics he was given after his appendectomy are the red herring. The antibiotics kill the good stuff in the gut along with the bad. I’m convinced that my UC (going on 13 years, but under control now) was caused by a long siege of antibiotics; I should have said “no.” I’ve tried to add good flora via VSL #3 (now off that, however) and daily eating homemade yogurt (as per info on Breaking the Vicious Cycle; I eat bits of soil occasionally, too :-).

  8. Hi everyone – I’m a 58 year old male who has had UC for about twelve years. I am currently on Imuran and Asacol. Well about about three weeks ago I suffered severe stomach pain and went to the ER, where they told me I needed my appendix removed, *toot pronto*. Within a few hours, it was out.

    Now, I’m still in the healing process, and I can’t be sure there is a correlation, but my UC symptoms are MUCH BETTER than they were before the surgery! In fact, my GI doc had recently reduced by Imuran dosage because it was affecting my blood counts. I was really expecting to go into a flare. But before that could happen, the appendix thing happened, and now I seem to be in better shape than ever. Are they related? Too early to tell. But I am taking careful notes and watching to see if I can find evidence of correlation.

    Side note: since the surgery, my blood pressure seems to be down, too! I’m guessing that simmering, angry, appendix was doing a lot of damage long before it was severe enough to actually get noticed by either me or my doctors.

  9. My son had his appendix removed 9 months after being diagnosed with UC. It made no different in his symptoms one way or the other. He is slowly healing going on 5 years. It’s a process with supplements, chelating due to high heavy metals and FMT and of course diet. The best to you. To reiterate I don’t think appendix removal changed anything for my son.

  10. I was diagnosed with UC in 2008 and I’ve been trying to find ways to heal my UC without meds ever since. In the past I’ve taken Lialda, Asacol and Canasa as maintanence drugs, but would still get flares on occasions which always leads to a round of prednisone. Unfortunately prednisone is the only drug that can get me into remission after a flare. I stopped taking all meds when I got pregnant in April of 2015 and refuse to go back until I stop nursing. My son was born in January and since then I’ve had one flare which I managed with the help of my acupuncturist and TCM.

    On July 4th I went to the hospital with really severe abdominal pain. Turns out I had appendicitis and hours later I had an appendectomy. So far, I’ve had no UC symptoms and I feel great. I’m not sure if it’s due to the appendectomy or not, but I’m hoping there is a correlation and that I can continue to be drug free.

    I don’t blame you for not wanting to go back on remicade. Do what’s best for you!

  11. After my colectomy in 2013 which includes the appendix, my UC symptoms in the remaining 20cm of rectum were worse than ever, so no i don’t think it’s related.

    Regarding Remicade, bear in mind you can’t just “start it up again” as once you stop Remicade for a period, your body builds up Antibodies to it and essentially makes you allergic to it.

    Listen to your Dr and don’t dismiss it if he says the same thing. My guess is that you are just in remission thanks to remicade and it won’t last forever if you stop remicade. It never does

  12. Hello,

    I have had UC since my first born and that was over 25yrs ago. I have been on Asacol since then and had got go on other meds. I have been on Prednisone when I have a flare, currently I am on Imuran since Feb. of this year and Asacol.

    For many years I would have what I called a flare sever stomach pain, vomiting, chills, and running to the bathroom. When I would get this pain is would usually last 24hrs. I told the doctor about my pain and he said, he didn’t think it was colon related and next time go to the ER. That is impossible the way I felt. His nurse practitioner though it could be my colon. So, I never really knew what to believe. In September 2016 the pain started again but did subside in 24hrs. I knew sometime was wrong. Then I got the pain in my right side and almost doubled over. Well, off to the ER I went and come to find out it was my appendix’s!! Now, I don’t know if things are better because of being on medication. I don’t know how to tell unless I weaned myself off of some of it. I am too afraid of having a flare to do that.

    I was told my the surgeon that removed my appendix that drinking Kefir (liquid yogurt) was good for your colon. It puts good bacteria in your colon.I have read that eating beats helps the liver so I have started eating beats due to my medication (Imuran) affecting my liver. We shall see what the outcome is for my liver this month when I have blood work drawn.

    Hope this helps.

  13. Hi, i’ve had colitis for 9 years recently out of hospital on IV steroids and now started Infliximab like you… no i do not want these weird drugs but colitis too severe for any other option. I’ve cut out sugar and been on a low residue diet, i have been researching CBD oil too. I had acute appendix removed 3 years ago as very inflamed and about to burst! The last 4 years have been very bad with colitis, not sure whether stress or diet or both or other things too but i am about to start again and be careful with my diet and address the stress! Good luck with everything, its a long proccess trying to get things right but i’m sure there are plenty of people drug free and in remission.

  14. My appendix was taken out by Doctors when I was 13 and in the midst of a huge UC flare which they had not yet diagnosed. Taking my appendix out was a stab in the dark for them really as they struggled to piece my symptoms together and work out what was wrong with me. Far from making things better, I went drastically down hill after the removal of my appendix and it wasn’t until they figured things out and put me on strong pres/asacol combination that things slowly began to improve. I’m 35 now and have been lucky to have long stretches of remission (usually 4-5 years) between flares since then, until recently where I experienced the longest flare of my life (1.5 years – only solved with Azathioprine which I fought tooth and nail not to succumb to) but if anything, I feel not having an appendix is to the detriment of my UC and overall health as new studies have found it plays a role in your immune function. But then, that’s just my experience, UC seems to play out differently in every person, it’s one tricky disease. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling well though and long may it continue!

    1. Hi Erika, I was 12 when I had the same thing happen to me. I had pain in my abdomen along with all the other symptoms of UC. The doctor pushed his hand around my tummy for a minute and the next thing I know I am having my appendix removed. Long story short, I did not improve and so my parents took me to the children’s hospital where I was diagnosed with Crohns and then put on Prednisone. I improved immediately. I don’t see any correlation between appendix removal and UC remission.

  15. I was born without an appendix the doctor found this out when he was doing colon surgery I was 23yrs.old had to have another surgery at 38yrs.old I am62 yrs.old now just had a colonoscopy a week ago told me to stay on my apriso and have to have another colonoscopy in 2 yrs.

  16. Hi everyone! Thank you for all of the great personal stories and responses. No study or pure data can sub for real people who share the same condition. I am back on Remicade and my body continues to respond well. I really appreciate the time and information! Wishing you all remission and more good days than bad.

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