Appendicitis refers to an inflammation of the appendix, which is a small, close-ended, finger-like pouch of tissue that is attached to the colon on the lower right side of the abdomen. Appendicitis occurs when the opening from the appendix into the cecum becomes blocked due to thick mucus that developed within the appendix or to stool that enters the appendix from the cecum and blocks the opening.
Appendicitis is a condition where the appendix becomes swollen and inflamed. As the blockage occurs, bacteria begin to multiply and infect the wall of the appendix. To respond to the invasion, the body attacks the bacteria which creates inflammation. Appendicitis causes pain around the navel and in the lower right abdomen
It is a medical emergency that requires urgent care with surgical treatment at the walk-in clinics. If left untreated, the appendix can burst or perforate, discharging infectious materials into the abdominal cavity. Although appendicitis can happen at any age, it is most common among older children and adults between ages 10 and 30.
Early Signs & Symptoms of Appendicitis
Do you have pain across the abdominal area? It may be the first sign of appendicitis. The early signs and symptoms of appendicitis are often mild like loss of appetite or nausea. As the course of appendicitis progresses, the patient may be able to define the exact location of the pain that is to the lower right abdomen. Here are a few common symptoms of appendicitis.
First Sign of Appendicitis
- Sudden pain around the navel or the upper abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal bloating
- Low-grade fever
Severe Symptoms of Appendicitis
- Progressively worsening pain anywhere in the lower or upper abdomen
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Severe cramps
- Painful urination, coughing or sneezing
- Vomiting that precedes the abdominal pain
If you are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms, avoid taking medications as it could cause your appendix to burst. Instead, seek immediate medical attention by visiting the best urgent care clinic to get a proper diagnosis and right treatment.
Tests & Procedures to Diagnose Appendicitis
Diagnosing appendicitis can be hard as it shares symptoms similar to other ailments like gastritis, gallbladder problems, urinary tract infections, and ovary problems. Moreover, not everybody’s appendix is in the same place. It may be located behind the colon, liver, or pelvis.
To help diagnose appendicitis, the doctors will take the history of your symptoms and perform a thorough physical examination. Your urgent care doctor may apply gentle pressure on the painful area. If the pain gets worse after gently pressing on the abdomen over the area of tenderness, it may signal that the adjacent peritoneum is inflamed.
Your walk-in doctor may also check for abdominal rigidity and a tendency for you to stiffen your abdominal muscles on applying the pressure over the inflamed area. Your doctor may conduct a physical examination of your lower rectum.
Besides, the following tests are generally ordered by walk-in doctors to help make the diagnosis.
- Blood Test – This test is used to look out for high white blood cell count which may indicate the signs of infection. As the infection sets in the body, the white blood cell count usually becomes elevated. The blood test helps to determine if the body is fighting infection.
- Urine Test – Urgent care doctors recommend you to have urinalysis or urine test to ensure that the pain isn’t caused by a urinary tract infection or a kidney stone. Urinalysis is a microscopic examination of urine that detects white blood cells, red blood cells, and bacteria in the urine. As the appendix lies near the ureter and bladder, an inflammation of appendicitis may lead to an abnormal urinalysis.
- Imaging Test – An MRI, abdominal ultrasound or CT scan tests are often conducted by walk-in doctors to help diagnose appendicitis or other causes of inflammation. An ultrasound helps to identify if the appendix is inflamed. Abdominal x-rays are usually performed at the urgent care clinics to check for appendicitis in lower right lung which may cause pain similar to pneumonia.
Surgical Treatment for Appendicitis
Once appendicitis is diagnosed, surgery is performed to remove the inflamed appendix. Though antibiotics are sometimes given to treat acute, uncomplicated appendicitis. However, surgery is the standard treatment for almost all cases of appendicitis.
Appendectomy or surgical procedure can be done through laparoscopy or keyhole surgery which is a few small abdominal incisions. It can also be treated through an open surgery using one large abdominal incision to clean the area inside the abdominal cavity. In laparoscopic surgery, the walk-in doctor inserts special surgical tools and a tiny video camera with a light to remove the appendix.
Watch out for these signs and visit Artisans of Medicine, the renowned medical clinic and urgent care in Brooklyn NY, to get the right treatment for appendicitis. Consult our best urgent care doctors today!