Appendicitis. What to watch for…

Why do we have an appendix?  We do not know the function of this part of your intestine.  The appendix is located in the lower right side of the abdomen and when it becomes inflamed immediate medical care is needed to prevent a health crisis.

What are the symptoms of appendicitis? At first, it can feel like a side pain. Typically, the pain will shift to the right lower side over several hours. The pain will worsen as the appendix swells. The pain will get worse with

  • breathing,
  • coughing,
  • sneezing
  • or with movement (a bumpy car ride will be especially painful).   Other symptoms include loss of appetite, constipation, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

What else could it be? The differential diagnosis  includes kidney stones, pneumonia, urinary tract infections.

Who does this affect? It could affect anyone. The most common ages for appendicitis are 10 to 30 with slightly more males affected than females. 250,000 people have their appendixes out yearly.

How is appendicitis treated? Surgery. This is done as soon as appendicitis is confirmed. If you present to the hospital with abdominal pain, the staff may watch you for a few hours to see if the pain and symptoms align with the common symptoms as above. If so, a surgeon will be called and surgery performed right away.

Will you miss you appendix? No. There is no function of the appendix. And, once the appendix is removed, there is no chance of getting appendicitis again.

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About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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