What are the tests for appendicitis?
When you reach the hospital, the doctor will most likely perform tests as well to check if the pain is caused by appendicitis or gas (or other condition). The tests may include:
- Physical Exam – The doctor will ask you to point to the painful area. They will then put gentle pressure on the site. When pressure is released, the appendicitis pain may worsen, suggesting that the peritoneum (abdominal lining) is also inflamed.
- Urine Test – a urine test will determine if the abdominal pain may be caused by infections in the urinary tract.
- Blood Tests – They will also take your blood to check for systemic signs of infection.
- Imageries – Finally, to confirm appendicitis, the doctor may order abdominal scans through CT Scan, X-Ray or Ultrasound. Scans are especially helpful if the doctor cannot specifically determine the cause of abdominal pain.
What are the treatment options for appendicitis?
Once the doctor diagnoses appendicitis, you will be asked to undergo appendectomy – the emergency surgery that removes the appendix. There are two types of appendectomy – keyhole surgery and open surgery.
In Keyhole Surgery, 3 to 4 small cuts are made and different instruments are inserted in the patient’s abdomen. These include an instrument that pumps gas to enlarge the abdomen and gives more room for the doctor to move, a laparoscope, a tube with light and camera used for visualization, and surgical instruments used to remove the appendix. In Open Surgery, the doctor makes one (larger) cut in the lower right side of the abdomen.
Recovery time from appendectomy depends on the type of surgery performed. If you had the Keyhole Surgery, the doctor may send you home in just 24 hours after the operation. If you underwent the Open Surgery, it may take up to a week before you can go home. Before going home, the doctor will give you instructions on proper wound care and will prescribe painkillers or antibiotics to prevent the onset of infection.
Key Takeaways about Appendicitis or Gas Pain
When you know how to determine if the abdominal pain is caused by appendicitis and gas, then you will be more ready to face the medical emergency brought about by appendix infection.
Just remember that appendicitis pain is sudden and sharp and often felt on the lower right side of the tummy. This pain, along with other appendicitis signs and symptoms, must alert you right away that you need medical attention.