The appendix is a small, finger-shaped pouch that extends from the colon on the lower right side of the abdomen. The exact purpose of the appendix is not known, but it can be a source of infection. When the appendix becomes infected, it is called appendicitis, a condition that requires treatment through surgery. Danny Shouhed, M.D. is a board certified general surgeon that can perform appendicitis treatment and surgery through our medical practice in Los Angeles.
Symptoms and Causes of Appendicitis
Most cases of appendicitis occur in children, teens and young adults. The infection in the appendix can be caused by a blockage that allows bacteria to multiply, causing inflammation and pus to fill the appendix pouch. This inflammation and infection can cause a variety of symptoms that can alert the patient to the condition, including:
- Pain in the lower right abdomen – the pain may start near belly button and move to the right
- Increased pain when walking, coughing or moving
- Loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting
- Increasing fever with other symptoms
- Bowel changes – diarrhea or constipation
- Protruding stomach
Symptoms of appendicitis should not be ignored. The appendix can quickly become full of pus and rupture, posing a risk of serious internal infection that can be deadly.
The standard treatment for appendicitis is removal of the appendix through surgery (appendectomy). This once was an open surgery, but it can now be completed laparoscopically. An appendectomy is effective to remove the appendix. If the appendix ruptured, additional disinfecting of the abdominal cavity is needed to prevent further complications.
Most cases of appendicitis occur in children. If your child has symptoms of appendicitis, contact your physician, or contact us at our clinic in Los Angeles. Danny Shouhed, M.D. can perform appendicitis treatment through appendectomy at our medical center. The sooner the surgery is performed, the less risk there is of rupture and further health concerns.