View Table of Contents
- Appendicitis facts
- What is the appendix?
- What is appendicitis and what causes appendicitis?
- What are the complications of appendicitis?
- What are the symptoms of appendicitis?
- How is appendicitis diagnosed?
- How is appendicitis diagnosed? (Part 2)
- How is appendicitis diagnosed? (Part 3)
- Why can it be difficult to diagnose appendicitis?
- What other conditions can mimic appendicitis?
- What is stump appendicitis?
- How is appendicitis treated?
- How is an appendectomy done?
- What are the complications of appendectomy?
- Are there long-term consequences of appendectomy? What is new about appendicitis?
How is appendicitis diagnosed? (Part 3)
A barium enema is an X-ray test in which liquid barium is inserted into the colon from the anus to fill the colon. This test can, at times, show an impression on the colon in the area of the appendix where the inflammation from the adjacent inflammation impinges on the colon. Barium enema also can exclude other intestinal problems that mimic appendicitis, for example Crohn's disease.
Computerized tomography (CT) Scan
In patients who are not pregnant, a CT scan of the area of the appendix is useful in diagnosing appendicitis and peri-appendiceal abscesses as well as in excluding other diseases inside the abdomen and pelvis that can mimic appendicitis.
Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a small fiberoptic tube with a camera is inserted into the abdomen through a small puncture made on the abdominal wall. Laparoscopy allows a direct view of the appendix as well as other abdominal and pelvic organs. If appendicitis is found,the inflamed appendix can be removed with the laparoscope. The disadvantage of laparoscopy compared to ultrasound and CT is that it requires a general anesthetic.
There is no one test that will diagnose appendicitis with certainty. Therefore, the approach to suspected appendicitis may include a period of observation, tests as previously discussed, or surgery.