Appendicitis is a condition in which your appendix gets inflamed. The appendix is a small pouch attached to the large intestine.
Appendicitis is a very common cause of emergency surgery. The problem most often occurs when the appendix becomes blocked by feces, a foreign object, a tumor or a parasite in rare cases.
The symptoms of appendicitis can vary. It can be hard to detect appendicitis in young children, older people, and women of childbearing age.
The first symptom is often pain around the belly button or mid upper abdomen. Pain may be minor at first, but becomes more sharp and severe. You may also have a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and a low-grade fever.
The pain tends to move into the right lower part of your belly. The pain tends to focus at a spot directly above the appendix called McBurney point. This most often occurs 12 to 24 hours after the illness starts.
Your pain may be worse when you walk, cough, or make sudden movements. Later symptoms include:
Most of the time, a surgeon will remove your appendix as soon as you are diagnosed.
If a CT scan shows that you have an abscess, you may be treated with antibiotics first. You will have your appendix removed after the infection and swelling have gone away.
The tests used to diagnose appendicitis are not perfect. As a result, the operation may show that your appendix is normal. In that case, the surgeon will remove your appendix and explore the rest of your abdomen for other causes of your pain.
Frederick Drake is a General Surgeon in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Drake has been practicing medicine for over 14 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Appendicitis. He is also highly rated in 7 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Appendicitis, Appendectomy, Hyperparathyroidism, and Osteitis Fibrosa. He is board certified in General Surgery and licensed to treat patients in Washington and Massachusetts. Dr. Drake is currently accepting new patients.
Paulina Salminen is in Turku, Finland. Salminen is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Appendicitis. She is also highly rated in 10 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Appendectomy, Appendicitis, Viral Gastroenteritis, and Esophageal Perforation.
Kuojen Tsao is a General Surgeon and a Pediatric Surgeon in Houston, Texas. Dr. Tsao has been practicing medicine for over 24 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Appendicitis. He is also highly rated in 8 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Appendicitis, Appendectomy, Myelomeningocele, and Diaphragmatic Hernia. He is licensed to treat patients in Texas. Dr. Tsao is currently accepting new patients.
Most people recover quickly after surgery if the appendix is removed before it ruptures.
If your appendix ruptures before surgery, recovery may take longer. You are also more likely to develop problems, such as:
Call your provider if you have pain in the lower-right portion of your belly, or other symptoms of appendicitis.
Published Date : April 20, 2021
Published By : Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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Rosenthal MD, Sarosi GA. Appendicitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 120.
Sifri CD, Madoff LC. Appendicitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 78.
Smith MP, Katz DS, Lalani T, et al. ACR appropriateness criteria right lower quadrant pain -- suspected appendicitis. Ultrasound Q. 2015;31(2):85-91. PMID: 25364964 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25364964/.