Appendicitis

  • Treatment

    If you have an uncomplicated case, a surgeon will usually remove your appendix soon after your doctor thinks you might have the condition. For information on this type of surgery see: appendectomy.

    Because the tests used to diagnose appendicitis are not perfect, sometimes the operation will reveal 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.

    If a CT scan shows that you have an abscess from a ruptured appendix, you may be treated for infection and have your appendix removed after the infection and inflammation have gone away.


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    Expectations (prognosis)

    If your appendix is removed before it ruptures, you will likely get well very soon after surgery. If your appendix ruptures before surgery, you will probably recover more slowly, and are more likely to develop an abscess or other complications.


    Complications
    • Abnormal connections between abdominal organs or between these organs and the skin surface (fistula)
    • Abscess
    • Infection of the surgical wound
    • Peritonitis

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you develop abdominal pain in the lower-right portion of your belly, or any other symptoms of appendicitis. Also call your doctor if:

    • Your pain is severe, sudden, or sharp
    • You have a fever along with your pain
    • You are vomiting blood or have bloody diarrhea
    • You have a rigid, hard abdomen that is tender to touch
    • You are unable to pass stool, especially if you are also vomiting
    • You have chest, neck, or shoulder pain
    • You are dizzy or light-headed
    • You have nausea and lack of appetite
    • You are unintentionally losing weight
    • You have yellowing of your eyes or skin
    • You have bloating for more than 2 days
    • You have diarrhea for more than 5 days, or your infant or child has had diarrhea for 2 days or vomiting for 12 hours (call right away if a baby younger than 3 months has diarrhea or vomiting)
    • You have had abdominal discomfort for more than 1 week
    • You have burning with urination or you are urinating more often than usual
    • You have pain and may be pregnant
    • Your pain gets worse when you take antacids or eat something