Appendicitis Center

Appendicitis Treatment

Appendicitis treatment
Appendicitis can't be treated at home.  Instead, you must communicate the signs and symptoms of abdominal pain to your doctor in order to receive immediate treatment.  Early diagnosis and treatment of appendicitis ensures your safety and protects your health.

If you exhibit classic symptoms of appendicitis, immediate surgery to remove the appendix (before it bursts) will probably be suggested.  Extensive diagnostic testing may not be required because prompt surgery decreases the likelihood the appendix will burst.  Treatment almost always involves removing the appendix but, in some cases might involve non-surgical therapies.  We'll review the most common treatment options to learn more.

Nonsurgical Treatment - Some research suggests that appendicitis can get better without surgery. But nonsurgical treatment is typically used if surgery is not available, if a person is not well enough to undergo surgery, or if the diagnosis is unclear. Nonsurgical treatment includes antibiotics to treat infection and a liquid or soft diet until the infection subsides. A soft diet low in fiber breaks down more easily in the gastrointestinal tract.

Appendectomy -  Surgery to remove the appendix is called appendectomy and can be done two ways. The older method, called laparotomy, removes the appendix through a single incision in the lower right area of the abdomen. The newer method, called laparoscopic surgery, uses several smaller incisions and special surgical tools to remove the appendix. Laparoscopic surgery leads to fewer complications and has a shorter recovery time.

If your appendix is removed before it ruptures, you will probably recover very soon after surgery. If your appendix ruptures before surgery, recovery tends to be slower, and you  are more likely to develop an abscess or other complications.  Full recovery from surgery takes about 4 to 6 weeks. Limiting physical activity during this time allows tissues to heal.   

As always, we encourage you to work with your doctor to determine which treatment option is best for you.  With adequate care, most people recover from appendicitis and do not need to make changes to diet, exercise, or lifestyle. Early diagnosis and treatment decrease the likelihood of complications associated with appendicitis.  So call your doctor if you develop abdominal pain in the lower right portion of your belly, or if you notice any other symptoms of appendicitis.


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