Appendectomy for appendicitis is one of the most common operations performed in the United States. We perform more than 700 appendectomies at Rady Children’s every year.
Appendicitis is sudden in onset, becomes progressively worse and typically has symptoms of localized right lower quadrant abdominal pain, which is worse with movement and frequently has associated nausea, vomiting and lack of appetite.
Appendicitis is resolved by appendectomy, which we usually perform laparoscopically. We are among a select group of children’s hospitals performing single-port surgery for appendicitis (operating through the belly button), achieving minimal or no scarring. Read about a patient who had this groundbreaking procedure.
By removing the appendix, which has no defined function in humans, the source of infection and pain is removed. If pus has leaked out of the appendix, as in perforated appendicitis, the treatment will generally require more hospital days receiving intravenous antibiotics.
If you think your child might have appendicitis contact your primary care physician or go to an Urgent Care or Emergency Department that cares for children, such as Rady Children’s. We do not always need to use CT imaging to make the diagnosis of appendicitis.