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Making a Diagnosis

In order to make a diagnosis, doctors will need to perform a physical exam, ask for a medical history, and order certain tests.
Tests that are used to make a diagnosis can include:
  • Laboratory tests
  • Imaging tests (computed tomography scan, ultrasound, x-ray)
  • Surgery.
(Click Diagnosing Appendicitis for more information.)

Current Treatment of Appendicitis

In most cases, treatment involves surgery. Medication may be used as treatment if the doctor is unsure if the patient has appendicitis. However, surgery will be necessary if the patient has appendicitis.
(Click Appendicitis Treatment for more information.)


Serious appendicitis complications may include:
  • Rupture
  • Peritonitis
  • Abscess
  • Organ failure
  • Death.
(Click Appendicitis Complications for more information.)

Summary of Appendicitis

Key information about appendicitis includes:
  • The appendix is a small, tube-like structure that is attached to the first part of the colon
  • Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix
  • It is considered a medical emergency
  • Symptoms of appendicitis include pain in the abdomen, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, inability to pass gas, low-grade fever, and abdominal swelling
  • A physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging tests are used to make a diagnosis 
  • Acute appendicitis is treated by surgery to remove the appendix
  • The most serious complication of appendicitis is rupture, which can lead to peritonitis and abscess.

Appendicitis Attack

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