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5 Signs of Appendicitis and What To Expect in Surgery

The prospect of having appendicitis is frightening for anyone, especially because it can be difficult to identify.

Appendicitis is the painful result of the appendix becoming blocked or infected. It’s a common condition that affects 1 in 20 people at some point in their lifetime. It’s one of the most common surgical problems seen in the emergency department.

We’ll go over some of the most common symptoms of appendicitis and tell you what to prepare for if you need to go into surgery.

Please note that you may have appendicitis even if you don’t have the usual symptoms.

1. Pain in the Abdomen

The most obvious sign of appendicitis is pain in the abdomen. The small organ is on the right side of your abdomen, where you will feel the pain. It may start as a duller sensation, often near the middle. As appendicitis worsens, it may move to the right lower abdomen and become sharper and worse with movement.

2. Loss of Appetite, Nausea & Vomiting

The inflammation of appendicitis may cause nausea and vomiting. Many people lose their appetite with appendicitis.

3. Fever & Chills

A sign of infection, fever with chills may indicate appendicitis if present alongside abdominal pain, nausea, or other symptoms.

4. Painful Urination

Appendicitis can sometimes replicate urinary tract infection symptoms, like pain upon urination or straining to pass urine.

5. Gastrointestinal Issues

Constipation, cramps, diarrhea, and the inability to pass gas may all be connected to appendicitis if present alongside other symptoms.

Unfortunately, many of these symptoms can be present with other problems as well. Generally, if you have pain that continues beyond a few hours and seems to be worsening, you should be seen in the emergency room, where a medical professional can provide a complete evaluation. Your physician can determine whether an appendectomy is necessary.

What To Expect if You Need an Appendectomy

If your appendix ruptures, you will need surgery as soon as possible to mitigate the spread of bacteria to the abdominal cavity. If the spread is not contained, you are likely to suffer from inflammation of the abdominal lining, called peritonitis. Although generally appendicitis is easy to treat and has few complications, problems are more common with a ruptured appendix, which becomes more likely as time passes.

When admitted for an appendectomy, your surgeon will determine whether an open or laparoscopic surgery is most appropriate. During an open appendectomy, the surgeon removes the appendix through one long incision.

In a laparoscopic procedure, several small incisions, a camera, and other tools are used to remove the appendix. Surgeons typically choose this approach as it is less invasive and has a shorter recovery time. Sometimes, even if a procedure is started laparoscopically, it may need to be changed to an open incision depending upon findings during surgery.

Recovering From an Appendectomy

If the organ has not ruptured, an appendectomy patient may be discharged after a few hours of monitoring, while more complicated scenarios may prompt a hospital stay of one or more nights.

Full recovery may take up to six weeks, but light activity like walking around your house can resume within a couple of days.

Alternative Treatments for Appendicitis

In some cases, you may not need surgery, and antibiotics alone may be a more appropriate treatment. This will be best determined by you and your surgeon. Alternative treatments are more likely if you’ve had a rupture for several days and are not that sick or if you have other significant medical problems that make surgery riskier.

Schedule an Appendectomy Consultation With Surgical Professionals

Surgical Professionals is ready to handle your Phoenix metro area appendectomy with skill, efficiency, and compassion.

Contact us online or call 480-892-2456 today to schedule a consultation.

Please note that the above information is provided for general purposes only and may not apply to your specific situation.

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