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Rady Children's Specialists

Appendicitis in Kids

Appendicitis: Treatment at Rady Children’s Hospital

What Is an Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix, a small organ attached to the large intestine in the lower right side of the abdomen. At Rady Children’s Hospital, we understand the urgency and importance of recognizing and treating appendicitis promptly.

Causes of Appendicitis:

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes blocked, leading to infection. Common causes of blockage include hard stool, swollen lymph nodes, parasites, and other infections. Our experienced medical team at Rady Children’s Hospital is well-equipped to diagnose and address the root causes of appendicitis.

Signs and Symptoms of an Appendicitis:

Symptoms of appendicitis can include:

  1. Abdominal Pain: The most common symptom is pain in the lower right side of the abdomen. The stomach pain may start around the navel and then move to the lower right side.
  2. Loss of Appetite: Individuals with appendicitis may experience a decreased appetite.
  3. Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting may occur, often accompanied by abdominal pain.
  4. Fever: A low-grade fever may develop as the body responds to the infection.
  5. Diarrhea or Constipation: Changes in bowel habits can occur.

Recognizing the signs of appendicitis in kids is crucial. Initial symptoms may include a mild fever and pain around the belly button. As the condition progresses, the pain intensifies and moves to the lower right side of the abdomen. At Rady Children’s Hospital, our multidisciplinary is trained to identify and address these symptoms and promptly treat the suspected appendicitis.

Complications and Risks of a Suspected Appendicitis:

If left untreated, an infected appendix can lead to complications such as a burst appendix and the spread of infection. Our team at Rady Children’s Hospital is committed to providing comprehensive care to prevent and manage these complications.

Demographics and Diagnosis:

Appendicitis primarily affects young children and teens between the ages of 5 and 20. Diagnosis can be challenging due to overlapping symptoms with other medical problems. At Rady Children’s Hospital, we utilize advanced diagnostic tools, including physical examinations, blood tests, urine tests, and imaging studies, to ensure accurate and timely diagnosis.

Treatment and Post-Surgery Care at Rady Children’s Hospital:

The primary treatment for appendicitis is the surgical removal of the infected appendix, known as an appendectomy. Our skilled surgeons at Rady Children’s Hospital often use laparoscopy for this procedure, minimizing incisions and ensuring a quicker recovery. Intravenous fluids and antibiotics are administered before and after surgery to optimize recovery.

Contact Rady Children’s Hospital:

If you suspect your child has appendicitis, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. Early diagnosis and intervention significantly improve outcomes. View our Emergency Room Wait Times or contact us at 858-966-7711