Knowing the warning signs of appendicitis might help you avoid experiencing even worse symptoms or needing to get emergency care for a burst appendix.
Worried you might have appendicitis?CALL YOUR DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY OR GO TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM
Nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, bloating, fever, sudden pain around your belly button ... sometimes, that pain you’re feeling is more than your average stomach ache.
Keep reading to learn more about appendicitis, what to watch out for, and how doctors treat the condition.
What does your appendix do?
When you’re a little kid, the appendix (found in the lower right area of your abdomen) helps your immune system fight infection. As you get older, though, your body doesn’t need its help anymore to protect your body against disease.
What is appendicitis?
Appendicitis is the name for when your appendix gets infected by a virus, parasites, or bacteria. Once this infection sets in, your appendix—a thin tube attached to your large intestine—becomes inflamed, and you may start to notice typical appendicitis symptoms.
Common signs of appendicitis
- Abdominal pain
- Often the pain starts around your belly button then moves to the lower right side of your abdomen, but you may notice the pain begins in the lower right side of your stomach (note: if your appendix bursts, you may feel pain all over your belly)
- The feelings of pain typically increase over time
- Breathing deeply, moving, coughing, having your belly touched, and even sneezing can make your pain worse
- You may also have a swollen belly
Is appendicitis serious?
Appendicitis is one of the most common reasons people have to get emergency surgery. In fact, around one in 20 people experience this serious medical condition at some point during their lifetime.
When should you see a doctor for appendix pain?
Although not all stomach pain is caused by something serious, if what you’re feeling feels unusual for you and that doesn’t go away after a few hours (or gets worse), call your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms.
What is an appendectomy?
An appendectomy is a medical procedure in which a surgeon removes an infected appendix from a patient. If your appendix has burst in the meantime, the surgeon will wash out your abdomen with saline (saltwater) to prevent the spread of infection.
Most of the time, appendectomies take about an hour.
Types of appendectomies
There are two methods for this type of surgery, and both have a low risk of complications.
- Open appendectomy: During this common procedure, a surgeon makes up to a four-inch incision on the lower right-hand side of the belly to remove the patient’s appendix
- Laparoscopic appendectomy: During this cutting-edge, less invasive surgery, a surgeon makes up to three tiny incisions in the patient’s belly then inserts a special device to remove the appendix; typically causes less pain and scarring
Surgical services from Logansport Memorial Hospital
During an emergency, get close-to-home care from the compassionate team at Logansport Memorial Hospital. Our surgeons, physicians, and specialists provide expert, customized care for a wide range of conditions and injuries so you can experience a shorter recovery time and less pain.
Learn more about our surgical services