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Treatments

  • Appendectomy

    The standard treatment for appendicitis is removal of the appendix, or appendectomy. You can continue to live a healthy life without your appendix. Your gastrointestinal (GI) surgeon may perform your appendectomy using one abdominal incision about two to four inches long (laparotomy), or your surgeon may perform the surgery through a few small abdominal incisions (laparoscopic).

  • Draining an abscess

    IIf your appendix has ruptured and an abscess (pocket of pus that can be infected) has formed around it, your GI specialist may recommend draining the abscess by placing a tube through your skin. Appendectomy will then be performed sometime after the infection is controlled, which can be up to several weeks later.

Tests

  • Physical exam

    Your GI doctor will do a complete physical exam and gather your health history to diagnose appendicitis.

  • Blood test

    Your GI doctor may order a blood test to check your white blood cell count; a high white blood cell count can indicate infection.

  • Urinalysis

    Your doctor may order a urinalysis (urine test) to rule out a urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney stone that can cause similar pain and symptoms.

  • Imaging tests

    Your specialist may recommend an abdominal X-ray, ultrasound, or computerized tomography (CT) scan to confirm your appendicitis or to find out what else is causing your pain.