Q. How is Acute Appendicitis Diagnosed? My doctor sent me to the emergency room because he thought I might have acute appendicitis. What are the symptoms and how is it diagnosed?
A. The symptoms of acute appendicitis can be misleading at first, because they are very unspecific. Usually the patient arrives with abdominal pain, that is "classicaly" located in the lower right side of the abdomen. However, sometimes the pain can't be located at a certain location. The pain tends to increase within hours, and become intolerable, to a point where the patient seeks medical care. Other common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite and fever. The diagnosis is usually made clinically by physical examination. In some cases a CT-scan is performed as well.
Q. What Causes Acute Appendicitis? I've heard that appendicitis is a very common situation. What causes it to happen? Is there a way to avoid it?
A. Appendicitis is caused by an infection of the appendix, usually from bacterias that are already located in the abdomen. It is not a situation that can be avoided and can occur in a high prevalence in the population.
Q. What happens if you leave appendicitis alone? I have symptoms of appendicitis, but I don't want to go to the hospital. What should I do? and what could happen?
A. If you have symptoms of appendicitis you should see a doctor immediately, because the major complication of an untreated appendix is rupture and infection of the entire abdomen, that can lead to generalized sepsis.