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Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch that is attached to the large intestine on the lower right side of the abdomen.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Blood tests:

You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.


is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.


  • Pain medicine: Caregivers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease. The medicine may not work as well at controlling your pain if you wait too long to take it.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a caregiver when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.


  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your abdomen. You may be given dye in your IV before the pictures are taken. The dye will help your caregivers see the pictures better. People who are allergic to iodine or shellfish (crab, lobster, or shrimp) may be allergic to some dyes.
  • Abdominal ultrasound: This test is done so caregivers can see the tissues and organs of your abdomen. Gel will be put on your abdomen and a small sensor will be moved across your abdomen. The sensor uses sound waves to send pictures of your abdomen to a TV-like screen.

Treatment options:

  • Appendectomy: This is surgery to remove your appendix. During a laparoscopic appendectomy, small incisions are made in your abdomen. A small scope and special tools are inserted through these incisions. A scope is a flexible tube with a light and camera on the end. If your appendix has burst, you may need an open appendectomy. This is when a single, larger incision is made to remove your appendix and clean out your abdomen.


Your appendix may burst. This can cause infected fluid to spread into your abdomen. If this happens, you may have a high fever and severe pain. The infection can spread to your organs or blood. This can be life-threatening. Ask your caregiver for more information about the risks of appendicitis.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.