Initial appendicitis symptoms may be misleading as pain may be felt in the upper abdomen or closer to the belly button.
The appendix is located in the lower right of the abdomen and would not match the location of the initial pain. Typically the pain does then shift to the lower right abdomen.
Nausea and vomiting may develop in approximately half of cases.
The appendix is a small projection near the point at which the small intestine becomes the colon.
If the appendix becomes inflamed and an infection has established itself, the appendix can swell, become severely painful, and sometimes may rupture (ruptured appendix symptom). This is a dangerous situation as bacteria may enter the bloodstream and lead to septic shock.
Appendicitis typically develops between 10 and 30 years of age. In children and infants inflamed appendix symptoms may be less obvious with a generalized tenderness of the entire abdomen.
- pain in upper abdomen or near navel
- eventual pain in lower right abdomen
Diagnosis is typically through a physical exam. Laboratory blood testing may also be used. Exploratory surgery is generally used immediately to quickly confirm diagnosis.
Treatment is surgical with prompt removal of the appendix. In some cases the appendix is found to be normal, but is typically removed during the surgery anyways.