Bad stomach pain? Nausea? Abdominal swelling? Though most people brush these symptoms off as a bad stomach ache, they can also be the symptoms of appendicitis, which should be taken seriously.
Causes of Appendicitis
Appendicitis is a medical emergency in which the appendix, a finger-like pouch attached to the large intestine, becomes inflamed and infected. This inflammation occurs because mucus backs up in the appendiceal lumen causing normal bacteria in the appendix to multiply.
Some possible reasons for these obstructions are:
- Feces and growths that block the appendiceal lumen
- Abnormal trauma to the abdomen
- Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease
Recognizing the Symptoms of Appendicitis
Though the symptoms of appendicitis are very similar to those of a bad stomach ache, there are ways to differentiate between the two. The classic symptoms of appendicitis include:
- Minor pain near the naval, which becomes sharper as it moves towards the lower right abdomen. This is usually accompanied by
- nausea and/or vomiting.
- Appetite loss
- Low-grade fever
- Abdominal swelling
- Pain while urinating
In order to properly diagnose appendicitis, your doctor will ask questions about your health history and will also perform a physical exam. During the physical exam, your doctor will assess pain by applying pressure to specific areas of the abdomen.
Treating Appendicitis in Reston, VA
Typically Appendicitis is treated by removing the appendix as soon as possible. This will ensure that the appendix doesn’t burst. An appendectomy, a surgery to remove the appendix, can be done in two ways:
Laparotomy. During this procedure, the appendix is removed through a single incision in the lower right area of the abdomen.
Laparoscopic Surgery. The newer method consists of several small incisions and special surgical tools fed through the incisions to remove the appendix.
The good news in all of this… once you’ve had your appendix removed, you won’t ever have to worry about appendicitis again! For more information on appendicitis contact Dr. Sachse at (571) 512-5300 or view our appendix removal page.