Appendicitis - Treatments

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How is appendicitis treated?

Once a diagnosis of appendicitis is made, an appendectomy usually is performed. Antibiotics almost always are begun prior to surgery and as soon as appendicitis is suspected.

There is a small group of patients in whom the inflammation and infection of appendicitis remain mild and localized to a small area. The body is able not only to contain the inflammation and infection but to resolve it as well. These patients usually are not very ill and improve during several days of observation. This type of appendicitis is referred to as "confined appendicitis" and may be treated with antibiotics alone. The appendix may or may not be removed at a later time.

On occasion, a person may not see their doctor until appendicitis with rupture has been present for many days or even weeks. In this situation, an abscess usually has formed, and the appendiceal perforation may have closed over. If the abscess is small, it initially can be treated with antibiotics; however, the abscess usually requires drainage. A drain (a small plastic or rubber tube) usually is inserted through the skin and into the abscess with the aid of an ultrasound or CT scan that can determine the exact location of the abscess. The drain allows pus to flow from the abscess out of the body. The appendix may be removed several weeks or months after the abscess has resolved. This is called an interval appendectomy and is done to prevent a second attack of appendicitis.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: nancy, 65-74 (Patient) Published: October 08

I awakened with severe abdominal pains at 3:00 a.m., took Tylenol and felt somewhat better. That night, more severe pains all across lower abdomen. No vomiting was present. I went to my internist, he X-rayed and saw nothing, sent me for a CT scan. The radiologist sent me straight to the emergency room, with acute appendicitis, with perforation. They did surgery that night, sent me home the next day. The recovery has been horrendous, why I do not know. The physician should have told me there needed care to get the bowels to return to normal. That was a problem for real. This is serious and certainly not a piece of cake. Please recognize severe pain in the abdominal region, most of the time means appendicitis. Go quickly to the emergency room.

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Comment from: ouch, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

I began having stabbing pains on my right side at work 12/18 2013. It came on fairly quick. I usually don't "freak" out with pain, but this was different. I went to emergency room and blood work showed elevated white blood cells. CAT scan showed swollen appendix. Surgery was performed later that evening. They went in through my left side with 3 incisions. The incisions are still tender, but my left side by the lower rib cage is extremely sore.

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