Acute appendicitis, symptoms of appendicitis
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a pouch-shaped organ connected to the large intestine. If you don't get treatment for it, the appendix can rupture, which is a life-threatening situation. Always seek immediate medical attention if you think you have appendicitis.
Your appendix is on the lower right-hand side of your abdomen, but pain from appendicitis may start in the middle of your abdomen.
Treatment for appendicitis involves surgery to remove the appendix. After surgery, most people recover quickly and without complications.
Acute appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, the narrow, finger-shaped organ that branches off the first part of the large intestine on the right side of the abdomen. Although the appendix is a vestigial organ with no known function, it can become diseased. In fact, acute appendicitis is the most common reason for abdominal surgery in the world.
If it is not treated promptly, there is the chance that the inflamed appendix will burst, spilling fecal material into the abdominal cavity. The usual result is a potentially life-threatening infection (peritonitis), but the infection may become sealed off and form an abscess.
Appendicitis is uncommon among older people, and symptoms are generally mild, so that diagnosis of the acute episode is often not made. Members of this age group are thus at greater risk for rupture with peritonitis or abscess formation.
Symptoms of appendicitis
The classic symptoms of appendicitis are:
• Dull pain near the navel or the upper or lower abdomen that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen; this is usually the first sign, but it occurs in less than half of appendicitis cases.
• Loss of appetite
• Nausea or vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins
• Abdominal swelling
• Temperature of 100 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit
• Constipation or diarrhea with gas
• Inability to pass gas
In many cases, atypical symptoms appear, including:
• Dull or sharp pain anywhere in the upper or lower abdomen, back, or rectum
• Painful urination
• Vomiting that precedes the abdominal pain