APPENDICITIS - Watsons Health

APPENDICITIS

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a finger-shaped pouch that projects from your colon on the lower right side of your abdomen.

It is thought that appendicitis begins when the opening from the appendix into the cecum becomes blocked.

If the inflammation and infection spread through the wall of the appendix, the appendix can rupture. After rupture, infection can spread throughout the abdomen; however, it usually is confined to a small area surrounding the appendix.

The classic symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Dull pain near the navel or the upper abdomen that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen. This is usually the first sign.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and/or vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fever of 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Inability to pass gas

Almost half the time, other symptoms of appendicitis appear, including:

  • Dull or sharp pain anywhere in the upper or lower abdomen, back, or rectum
  • Painful urination
  • Vomiting that precedes the abdominal pain
  • Severe cramps
  • Constipation or diarrhea with gas

DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosing appendicitis can be tricky. Symptoms of appendicitis are frequently vague or extremely similar to other ailments, including gallbladder problems, bladder or urinary tract infection, Crohn’s disease, gastritis, intestinal infection, and ovary problems.

The following tests are usually used to make the diagnosis:

  • Abdominal exam to detect inflammation
  • Urine test to rule out a urinary tract infection
  • Rectal exam
  • Blood test to see if your body is fighting infection
  • CT scans and/or ultrasound

 

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

Surgery to remove the appendix, which is called an appendectomy, is the standard treatment for appendicitis.

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