Appendicitis

What is appendicitis?

Appendicitis refers to inflammation of the appendix, which is a tubular organ attached to the large intestine on the right side of the abdomen. The appendix does not perform any vital function in the body and can be removed without any impact to your health.1

 

Signs and symptoms of appendicitis

The most common symptom of appendicitis is pain. This usually starts in the stomach area and upper abdomen, and then moves to the lower right area of the abdomen.1 It tends to become more severe and constant as time goes on. Other symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation

Diagnosis

If experiencing symptoms of appendicitis, it is important to immediately see a clinician for examination. Diagnostic tools may include USG, CT scan of the lower abdomen and pelvis or laparoscopic examination.

Treatment

In rare cases appendicitis may get better without surgery, but most often surgery is required to remove the appendix.2

  • Antibiotic treatment – for early and mild cases of appendicitis antibiotic treatment can be effective at treating the inflammation, however the appendicitis can recur
  • Surgery – surgical removal of the appendix (known as an appendectomy) is the most common treatment for appendicitis, often performed using a laparoscopic surgical technique

References

For a full list of references, click here.
  1. healthdirect. (2019). Appendicitis. Retrieved on 15 November 2019 from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/appendicitis
  2. healthline. (2019). Everything you need to know about appendicitis. Retrieved on 3 December 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/health/appendicitis

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