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Appendicitis

Appendicitis Los Angeles

The appendix is a small, ancillary organ attached to the colon. It is located in the lower right portion of the abdomen. Although it may have played a role at some point during human evolution, it has no known purpose today. Removing it is not done automatically but, if it must be removed to avoid infection, there are no known side effects.

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this condition other than the surgical removal of the appendix. Inflammation usually affects patients between the ages of 10 and 30, although anyone may develop appendicitis. If removed promptly, appendicitis usually results in no complications.

If you are currently experiencing acute pain in your abdomen – especially in the lower right portion – or any other symptoms of appendicitis, you should seek medical attention to avoid the risk of possible complications. Dr. Tabib is highly skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of appendicitis. Contact us to schedule a consultation with Doctor Tabib today.

Causes of Appendicitis

The appendix is attached to the colon near the point where it meets the small intestine. It is a tube-shaped organ that dead-ends. The most common cause of inflammation in the appendix is blockage. This is usually caused by feces, although in some cases inflamed lymph nodes nearby can apply pressure from the outside. Very rarely, traumatic injuries can cause appendicitis. If you have family members who have experienced appendicitis, you may have a genetic predisposition to the condition.

Symptoms of Appendicitis

One of the easiest ways to identify appendicitis is the pain most people experience in the abdomen. It usually begins around the bellybutton before moving to the location of the appendix, in the lower right side. The area may become tender and usually intensifies when coughing, moving, sneezing, or taking deep breaths.
Other symptoms may include:

  • constipation or diarrhea
  • inability to pass gas
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • low fever that begins after other symptoms
  • abdominal swelling

Some people may also experience a condition known as tenesmus. This is the sensation that having a bowel movement will alleviate pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Tabib, contact us today.

People with Special Concerns

There are a number of conditions that can cause special concerns when removing the appendix. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, Dr. Tabib can help you in the diagnosis and treatment of them. Some of the factors that can affect appendicitis include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Age (Either Very Young or Very Old)
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • HIV
  • Cancer/Chemotherapy
  • Organ Transplants

Pregnant women may experience some of the symptoms of appendicitis – including abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea – even though they don’t have it. Conversely, many pregnant women who have appendicitis fail to exhibit the common symptoms. Women in their third trimester are at a higher risk.

Very young patients often have trouble communicating their symptoms to parents and physicians. And without much of a medical history, doctors often have little to go on when identifying appendicitis. Older patients often exhibit less severe symptoms than others. They may not be aware that there is anything wrong until their appendices are on the verge of rupturing.

Treatment for Appendicitis

Dr. Tabib is an expert in the treatment of appendicitis, having performed countless surgeries to help patients like you fully recover from this serious condition. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with him if you think you might be suffering from appendicitis, as delaying treatment can increase the risk of complications.

Appendicitis Surgery

Most of the time, acute appendicitis is treated using surgery. Because the appendix has no known function, removing it has no adverse effects on the patient. Surgery is usually performed laparoscopically, although traditional small incision surgery is used in some cases. Laparoscopic uses three or four smaller incisions and special equipment, including a small flexible camera (laparoscope). Whether or not the appendix is inflamed, it is almost always removed. Once the appendix is removed, appendicitis can be ruled out if you experience future bouts of pain.

Antibiotics and Other Treatments

The only true cure for appendicitis is removal of the appendix. In some cases, however, the diagnosis may be uncertain. In order to treat painful infections, Dr. Tabib may prescribe a course of antibiotics. If the appendix is infected and has formed an abscess, the abscess may need to be drained before the appendix can be removed. The drain may be placed for several weeks before surgical removal is scheduled.

Complications

If the appendix ruptures, harmful bacteria can leak into the abdominal cavity, leading to dire conditions. Young children and the elderly are the most susceptible to appendix rupture, as they may not notice or communicate their symptoms in a timely manner. Appendix rupture is extremely serious. This is why it’s so important to see a doctor if you think you or a loved one is suffering from appendicitis. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Tabib, contact us today.

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Siamak Tabib, M.D., Inc.
8631 West Third Street
Suite 1015E
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 652-4472
(310) 358-2266 (Fax)