Appendicits (PedsPathforParents)

20 Feb

What is the appendix?

The appendix is a little tube that hangs off part of the intestine.  It doesn’t appear that it is good for anything except making surgeons money by getting infected and needing to be taken out.

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What is appendicitis?

As with anything, -itis means infection or inflammation.  So, appendicitis, is infection in the appendix.

Appendicitis can happen at any age but is most likely to happen in older children and teenagers.  It is the most common cause of emergency abdominal surgery in children.

How does appendicitis happen?

  1. Most commonly, appendicitis start because the opening gets blocked (poop, food particles or an enlarged lymph node can do this).
  2. Because of the blockage, bacteria go crazy in the tube causing the infection.
  3. The infection can thin the walls of the appendix and make it more likely to pop.

What are the symptoms of appendicitis?

  • Belly Pain-the pain usually start under the belly button and move down to the lower right side
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • No Appetite-a child who feels like anything probably doesn’t have appendicits

How do you diagnose appendicitis?

Appendicitis can usually be diagnosed by the story and the exam but often we do CT scans and ultrasounds to confirm the diagnosis.

How do you treat appendicitis?

Appendicitis is treated by surgeons by removing the appendix.  This can often be done with a scope to decrease the amount of scarring and to get your child back on their feet quickly.  If the appendicitis is simple, the surgery is to simply remove the appendix.  Sometimes, the the appendix will have ruptures and require more surgery to remove the infected fluid from the belly.


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