Many have the knowledge that pain on the right side of your abdomen could be linked to your appendix, but what about the other symptoms and warning signs? Appendicitis is an inflammation of your appendix 3 ½ inch tube of tissue that extends from your large intestine. It is a medical emergency that almost always will require surgical removal of the appendix, but luckily, it’s an organ we can live without.
The sooner appendicitis is spotted, the better, as inflammation can lead to a burst, as well as infection and longer recovery times. Because of this, spotting the warning signs are critical.
Causes of Appendicitis
In most cases, the exact cause of appendicitis is never identified. However, it is believed that the inflammation (whether chronic or acute) occurs when part of the appendix becomes obstructed, or blocked. In fact, in the United States, it’s the most common cause of abdominal pain that resulted in surgery.
Identifying Pain in Your Abdomen
The first sign that you might be experiencing and appendicitis is a pain in your upper abdomen, often around the belly button. Pain may start off dull, and as it moves towards the lower right abdomen, it becomes sharp. Nausea and vomiting can occur soon after, and a fever is usually present.
Other Warning Signs
Though abdominal pain is the first noticeable sign, half the time, other symptoms are present, such as:
- Dull or sharp pain in the back or rectum
- Painful urination
- Severe cramps
- Constipation or diarrhea with gas
Diagnosis and Treatment
Since abdominal pain is common, and symptoms mimic other ailments, diagnosis can be tricky. Often, it can be mistaken for gallbladder issues, urinary tract infections, or a variety of intestinal problems. To get an accurate diagnosis, an abdominal exam, blood test, or CT ultrasound are just some of the methods used to spot inflammation.
When detected, removal will be necessary reasonably quickly. Often, recovery is fast, and you can return to regular activity within two to three weeks.
If you are experiencing extreme abdominal pain, it’s important to get it looked at as early as possible. At Henry County Hospital, we are committed to providing excellent service.
From appendectomy to hernia surgery, we cover all aspects of general surgery. We use state-of-the-art technology and offer personalized care — our priority is always the patient.