Appendicitis

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

  • Appendicitis (ah-pen-dih-SI-tis) is an inflammation (swelling) of the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch that is attached to the large intestine in the lower right side of the abdomen (stomach). Experts are unsure of the purpose of the appendix, but it can become infected. A piece of food or hardened stool may get trapped in it. The appendix may get blocked, swollen, and filled with pus.

  • Pain may start around your belly button and move to the right lower side of your abdomen. The pain may not go away. You may also have a rigid (hard) abdomen, nausea (upset stomach), or vomiting (throwing up). A fever may be one of the later signs that you have appendicitis. Tests to check if you have appendicitis include an abdominal computerized tomography (CT) scan and an ultrasound. Removing your appendix with surgery is the only treatment for appendicitis.
    Picture of a normal digestive system

INSTRUCTIONS:

Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:

  • You have abdominal pain that does not go away or gets worse.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.

  • You have trouble having a bowel movement (BM) or have diarrhea.

  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.

  • You are vomiting and cannot keep food down.

  • You have questions or concerns about your care, treatment, or medicine.

SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:

  • You have a fever.

  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing.

Copyright © 2012. Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Appendicitis (Aftercare Instructions)

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