What Are The Symptoms Of Appendicitis?

Identifying Appendicitis For Prompt Emergency Care

In any given year, about one in 1,000 Americans will have appendicitis—an inflammation of the small, finger-like structure protruding from the right side of the lower intestines called the appendix. While that may seem like a small number, over the course of a lifetime, nearly 9% of men and 7% of women will be impacted by this painful and potentially life-threatening condition according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Appendicitis is caused by a bacterial build-up in the appendix. It is most common in older children, teens, and young adults but can strike anyone at any age. Suspected cases of appendicitis should immediately be evaluated at The Emergency Center.

What Are The Symptoms Of Appendicitis? Signs & Symptoms Of Appendicitis

Though appendicitis impacts the abdomen, the symptoms and type of pain involved are generally different than a typical stomachache. The most pronounced sign of possible appendicitis is sudden pain in the lower right part of the abdomen. Sometimes the pain:

  • may come and go at first before becoming more constant.
  • starts closer to the belly button and then moves lower to the right.
  • is dull but can also be sharp.
  • becomes more pronounced with a cough.
  • gets worse when walking or with sudden movement.
  • causes additional discomfort when peeing.

Other symptoms accompanying possible appendicitis include:

  • Bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Gas
  • Fever

Can I Wait To See The Doctor For An Appendicitis Diagnose?

No. Getting appendicitis diagnosed promptly at The Emergency Center is critical due to the potential complications it can cause if it lingers. These include a ruptured appendix. And if the appendix does burst, the infection can spread throughout the entire abdomen causing potentially life-threatening illness and requiring emergency surgery.

Additionally, undiagnosed and untreated appendicitis can leak fluid creating a pocket of pus in the abdominal cavity, making treatment more complicated. This fluid must be drained by a tube inserted into the abdomen that may need to remain in place for weeks.

Diagnostic Tools & Treatment For Appendicitis

The Emergency Center uses a host of tools to quickly confirm or rule out appendicitis. The diagnostic process often begins with a thorough physical exam and questions about the history of the pain. Other tests may include:

  • Imaging studies: An ultrasound or CT scan can help diagnose appendicitis and potentially the severity of the situation (e.g., whether rupture has occurred).
  • Blood and urine tests: A urine test can help check for other possible conditions affecting the low belly–such as a urinary tract infection or kidney stones,–while a blood test can confirm an infection consistent with appendicitis.

Once a diagnosis of appendicitis has been determined, treatment can begin immediately. The go-to treatment option is the surgical removal of the appendix. However, antibiotics are usually given beforehand.

Visit The ER If You Have Signs Of Appendicitis

The Emergency Center can diagnose the infection, prescribe and provide a starter dose of antibiotics to control the infection in the appendix, make a referral to a surgeon and hospital who can perform an appendectomy to remove it and arrange ambulance transport to the patient’s hospital of choice. While no one looks forward to surgery, an appendectomy is considered among the most basic of surgical procedures, and recovery usually only takes a few weeks if there aren’t complications.

And the best way to minimize complications from appendicitis is by finding care fast.

Enjoy life. We’ll be here for the bumps along the way.™


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The Emergency Center

San Antonio
11320 Alamo Ranch Pkwy
San Antonio, TX 78253

Phone: 210-485-3644