Acute Appendicitis (Pediatric)

What is acute appendicitis?

Acute appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, a pouch-like tube joined to the large intestine on the lower right side of the abdomen. This condition is one of the most common illnesses requiring emergency surgical care, especially among young people.

What causes acute appendicitis?

A blockage of the appendix, usually from swollen glands or food particles, causes acute appendicitis.

What are the symptoms of acute appendicitis?

Symptoms usually start with abdominal discomfort and lead to pain and tenderness on the lower right side of the abdomen over the course of a day or two. Other symptoms are:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Appetite loss
  • Constipation or diarrhea 
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting

How is acute appendicitis diagnosed?

Appendicitis can turn into a serious infection if not diagnosed and treated promptly. Diagnosis starts with a physical exam of the abdomen to evaluate the pain and may also include:

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • Imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRI scans (radiation-free)
  • Urine test

What is the treatment for acute appendicitis?

The treatment for this condition is an appendectomy, the surgical removal of the inflamed appendix. Our surgeons use laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive technique, to do this operation. The advantages of a laparoscopic appendectomy include: Shorter recovery time and return to normal activities Less postoperative pain Small and less noticeable incision scars