Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, a finger-shaped pouch that projects from your colon on the lower right side of the abdomen. Appendicitis causes pain in your lower right abdomen. If you develop appendicitis, it is important to seek treatment immediately.
Here are some frequently asked questions about appendicitis treatment.
1. What is the treatment for appendicitis?
Appendectomy via open laparotomy or laparoscopy is the standard treatment for acute appendicitis. However, intravenous antibiotics may be considered as a first-line therapy for select patients. Pain control with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and acetaminophen should be a priority and does not result in delayed or unnecessary intervention.
2. When does appendicitis require open abdominal surgery?
If your appendix has ruptured and infection has spread beyond the appendix, or if you have an abscess, you may need an open appendectomy, which allows your surgeon to clean the abdominal cavity.
3. What happens when the appendix is removed?
In the days following an appendectomy, you may feel moderate pain in the areas where incisions were made. Any pain or discomfort should improve within a few days. Your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve the pain. They might also prescribe antibiotics to prevent an infection after surgery.
4. Can you delay appendix surgery?
Acute appendicitis is one of the most common acute conditions requiring an emergency operation. Immediate appendectomy is considered the gold-standard treatment for acute appendicitis. It is widely believed that delays in diagnosis and treatment significantly contribute to increased incidences of perforated appendicitis, which result in increased patient morbidity.
5. What are the side effects of an appendectomy?
Some possible complications of an appendectomy include:
- Wound infection
- Infection and redness and swelling (inflammation) of the belly that can occur if the appendix bursts during surgery (peritonitis)
- Blocked bowels
- Injury to nearby organs
You may have other risks that are unique to you. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before surgery.
6. Can an appendix heal itself?
Since the late 1800s, doctors have turned to surgery to treat appendicitis. Some cases of mild appendicitis get better with antibiotics alone but your doctor will watch you closely to determine if you need surgery.
7. Do pain relievers help with appendix pain?
Pain relievers can be helpful in temporarily relieving pain. This applies to appendicitis pain, as well. While pain relievers cannot resolve the underlying issue, which must be treated with antibiotics and surgery, temporary relief from pain symptoms can be achieved.
It is even standard practice to immediately administer pain medications such as opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or acetaminophen upon admission to an emergency room when a patient is diagnosed with appendicitis.
Experienced Doctors and Surgeons in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Florida
If you’re looking for a team of highly qualified general surgeons, and a medical practice that can take care of all your health care needs, turn to Intercostal Medical Group. Our experts can guide you to the best treatment approach for your specific health problem, including appendicitis.
Call today for an appointment with one of our doctors or request one online. Our General Surgeons see patients at our Lakewood Ranch I office (941-362-8662) and at our Cattleridge Medical Building (941-341-0042).