If you have ever had a severe stomachache, chances are you’ve worried it could be appendicitis. The early symptoms are similar to those of stomach flu or food poisoning.
What Is Appendicitis?
The appendix is a small piece of tissue located in the lower-right area of your abdomen. Although it may mildly aid the immune system when you’re a child, the body no longer relies on it when you’re an adult. That’s why it can be surgically removed if it becomes inflamed.
Appendicitis usually occurs when there’s a blockage, causing the appendix to swell and become infected. Due to a lack of blood flow, it can burst. Once the walls of the appendix are torn, the site develops an even worse infection that can leak into the abdomen.
What Does It Feel Like?
Pain usually starts in the center of the abdomen, later migrating to the right, lower quadrant. Other symptoms may include pain that:
- Significantly worsens in a few hours
- Doesn’t decrease with over-the-counter medication
- Worsens when you take deep breaths, cough or sneeze
- Is so severe it wakes you up
What if I Think My Pain Is Appendicitis?
Seek immediate medical care. If unchecked, appendicitis can result in serous health risks, and in rare cases, a ruptured appendix can even lead to death. An earlier evaluation can lead to an earlier diagnosis, which could eliminate the need for emergency surgery.
Can I Wait to See If It’s a Stomachache?
It’s possible that someone worried about a potential case of appendicitis may be suffering from something less serious. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Always consult with your physician. You may find that you are a candidate for a robotic appendectomy, a procedure offered at Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital. Benefits include smaller incisions, less blood loss, fewer complications and faster recoveries.
While we understand we’re in a time of uncertainty, there’s one thing you can be certain of – our commitment to your safety. So even though we understand why you may be concerned, it’s important to always get the care you need.