What You Should Know About Appendicitis

Appendicitis is one of those conditions that most people have at least heard of. However, this does not mean that they know all of the important facts about the condition or about how to treat it if they develop it. Learn some of the important facts about appendicitis and its treatment. Then, you can be sure you do what is best for you and your health if you ever believe you have this major health condition. 

Appendicitis Often Starts with Right Side Pain

The appendix is a small pouch on the end of the colon. It is located on the right side of the body. As such, when a person develops appendicitis, they often first notice severe right side abdominal pain.

This is a telltale sign of appendicitis (as opposed to a different digestive system condition) and should never be ignored. Even if you have no other symptoms besides this pain, you should seek out emergency medical care. 

Other Symptoms Can Occur as Well

Appendicitis right side pain can be accompanied by other symptoms as well. These include fever, nausea, and vomiting. The pain of appendicitis can also start around the belly button and eventually or periodically shift to the right side. This can be confusing but is also a sign of appendicitis. A person with appendicitis can also experience chills and a lack of appetite. 

Appendicitis Can Advance Quickly

Once you notice the symptoms of appendicitis, the condition can advance quickly. The appendix can go from just a little inflamed to ready to burst in a few short hours (or less). As such, you should not hesitate when you notice the symptoms of the condition. 

Go to a medical professional right away. Delaying a diagnosis can mean that your appendix will burst in the meantime which can cause numerous complications including sepsis (a system-wide infection that can be difficult to treat and even deadly). 

Treatment Involves Surgery

If you are diagnosed with appendicitis, the primary treatment protocol is to remove the appendix and treat the condition with antibiotics. The antibiotics are used to prevent a potential infection in the appendix from spreading elsewhere in the body. 

The surgery removes the appendix before it bursts and causes more severe problems. A general surgeon will perform the appendectomy to remove the appendix. This procedure can be done laparoscopically if the appendix is not too enlarged. Otherwise, a larger incision may be necessary. 

Appendectomies are quick surgeries, generally lasting about one hour. Generally, you can go home one to two days after surgery unless the appendix burst in which case you may be in the hospital for about a week. 

Now that you know more about appendicitis and its treatments, you can be sure to seek out medical care as soon as possible if you notice symptoms of this condition. 

To learn more about appendicitis, feel free to reach out to a general surgeon to learn more.

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