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#9: Appendicitis

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

Greeting Queens! I hope you all are having a fabulous day so far! Today, we are focusing on the abdomen. Specifically, (bum, bum, buuuummmm)……appendicitis. :(


1. So What is Appendicitis?

It’s a blockage, or obstruction, in the appendix can lead to appendicitis, which is an inflammation and infection of your appendix. The blockage may result from a buildup of mucus, parasites, or most commonly, fecal matter. When there’s an obstruction in the appendix, bacteria can multiply quickly inside the organ. This causes the appendix to become irritated and swollen, ultimately leading to appendicitis.

2. Where is my appendix and what does it do?

The appendix is in the lower right side of your abdomen. It’s a narrow, tube-shaped pouch protruding from your large intestine. Although the appendix is a part of your gastrointestinal tract, it’s a vestigial organ. This means that it provides no vital function and that you may live a normal, healthy life without it. The purpose of the appendix is unknown. Some believe it contains tissue that helps your immune system process infections in your body.

3. Symptoms of appendicitis

Signs and symptoms of appendicitis may include:

  • Sudden pain that begins on the right side of the lower abdomen

  • Sudden pain that begins around your navel and often shifts to your lower right abdomen

  • Pain that worsens if you cough, walk or make other jarring movements

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Loss of appetite

  • Low-grade fever that may worsen as the illness progresses

  • Constipation or diarrhea

  • Abdominal bloating

  • Flatulence

The site of your pain may vary, depending on your age and the position of your appendix. When you're pregnant, the pain may seem to come from your upper abdomen because your appendix is higher during pregnancy.

4. How to Treat Appendicitis

Depending on your condition, your doctor’s recommended treatment plan for appendicitis may include one or more of the following:

In rare cases, appendicitis may get better without surgery. But in most cases, you will need surgery to remove your appendix. This is known as an appendectomy.

If you have an abscess that hasn’t ruptured, your doctor may treat the abscess before you undergo surgery. To start, they will give you antibiotics. Then they will use a needle to drain the abscess of pus.

5. What happens if it’s left untreated?

If you don’t get treatment for an inflamed appendix quickly, it can rupture and release dangerous bacteria into your abdomen. The resulting infection is called peritonitis. This is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Having a ruptured appendix is a life-threatening situation. Rupture rarely happens within the first 24 hours of symptoms, but the risk of rupture rises dramatically after 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. It’s very important to recognize the early symptoms of appendicitis so that you can seek medical treatment immediately.

6. Will I be ok without an appendix?

Yes. Your doctor will explain what you can and cannot do while you are recovering from your appendectomy. You’ll need to be excused from gym class, sports, and very physical activities while you are healing (about 2-4 weeks after your surgery) but you will be fine because you can definitely live without an appendix.



Young Women’s Health

Mayo Clinic

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