Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, the organ that may aid in fighting infection. An inflamed appendix is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment to prevent further complications, such as a ruptured appendix.
If you believe you have appendicitis, seek emergency care at Dignity Health North State. Our trained staff can recognize the symptoms, diagnose, and treat appendicitis in Northern California. If you’re more comfortable waiting at home, use our online waiting tool InQuicker and schedule an estimated arrival time.
Causes of Appendicitis
A blockage in the appendix is the most common cause for appendicitis. Mucus, stool, or a foreign object can become lodged in the appendix and lead to irritation and inflammation.
In extreme cases, the appendix can rupture and leak contents into your abdominal cavity. This will result in a more severe infection called peritonitis.
Symptoms of Appendicitis
The main symptom of appendicitis is severe abdominal pain, which can start near your navel and quickly progress to the lower right side of your belly.
Other common symptoms include:
Within days, an inflamed appendix can worsen quickly and lead to life-threatening complications. Always talk to your doctor or seek emergency care at the first signs of appendicitis.
Treating Appendicitis at Dignity Health North State
Our level three trauma centers are equipped to treat mild and serious cases of appendicitis.
To confirm appendicitis and to determine the extent of the infection, your emergency room doctor may recommend a:
- Blood test, to check for infection
- Abdominal ultrasound to view the appendix
- CT scan
The severity of the infection determines the best treatment. Generally, surgery to remove the appendix (called an appendectomy) is usually the best treatment approach. Since your appendix is not an essential organ, it can be removed to prevent future infections or a rupture.
If surgery is required, our trained staff can perform emergency surgery to remove your appendix. Visit an emergency room at Dignity Health North State for comprehensive care for appendicitis.
Emergency services at Dignity Health North State diagnose and treat cases of appendicitis in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.