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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is appendicitis?
Appendicitis occurs when the opening of the appendix is blocked, leading to an overgrowth of the bacteria in the appendix, causing inflammation.
What are the symptoms of appendicitis?
Appendicitis pain usually starts around your navel (belly button) and within a few hours spreads to the lower right-hand side of your abdomen (stomach), just above your appendix. The pain tends to become severe within a few hours. Pressing on the area …
How can I tell appendicitis from another condition?
Sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose appendicitis, as the symptoms may vary. Usually nausea and vomiting occur before pain. A CT scan is useful in diagnosing appendicitis from other medical conditions. If you have pain on the lower …
What happens if I leave my appendicitis untreated?
If appendicitis is left untreated, there is a risk of severe complications and death: if appendicitis is treated early, then the operation is relatively quick and easy, but if the appendix has burst, then the operation is more difficult …
What is reactive appendicitis?
Reactive appendicitis is caused by an infection in nearby tissues, which affect the appendix and produce similar symptoms.
How is appendicitis diagnosed?
Your doctor will thoroughly examine you and take a full history. Urine and blood tests may be ordered. If the diagnosis is unclear, the doctor may order a CT scan of the abdomen or an ultrasound to rule out other conditions.
How is appendicitis treated now?
Appendicitis is usually treated with surgical removal, either via open surgery or keyhole surgery.
About this article
Author: Karen McCloskey BHSc
First answered: 22 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 17 Oct 2018
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Votes: 270 (Click smiley face below left to rate)