Appendicitis

Question:

For appendicitis, what were the symptoms and signs you experienced? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Whitney, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 03

My appendicitis symptoms were severe stomach pain that settled in the lower right abdomen, nausea (from pain), swelling on right side, and tenderness. The pain continually increases in intensity, and having a full bladder will cause pressure and increase the pain.

Comment from: Daisy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

When I was about 45 years old, I woke up one Friday about 6:00 AM with a slight tingling sensation around my navel and went to work as usual. Other than the tingling feeling and a complete lack of appetite, I had no other symptoms all day. No nausea, no vomiting, no fever, no diarrhea, no pain in my lower right side. I tried going to bed about 10:00 PM and my belly started to sting/burn. Off to the emergency room, where a blood test confirmed an infection and a scan confirmed appendicitis. My appendix was removed laparoscopically early Saturday morning and I was back to work on Tuesday! I'm one of the lucky few who had very mild symptoms.

Comment from: Alma , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

I had sharp pain in the lower right side abdomen from appendicitis. It was very painful and only lasted around 3 minutes.

Comment from: Jen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I woke up at 1:30 in the morning with what felt like gas pains. I took some gas medicine and lay down with no relief. About a 1/2 hour later I threw up then took more gas relief since I still felt like I was having gas pains and thought I threw up the other pills. About 20 minutes later I threw up again and then took another gas relief pill. The pain was above my belly button had just got worse, it felt like a burning pain. I continued throwing up and around 3:40 started thinking it was more than gas, though research said pain would be lower if it was appendicitis. I woke my husband up at 4:00 to take me to the emergency room. Once there they put me on morphine drip and did an ultrasound. Ultrasound showed nothing so they had me start drinking bottles of water with dye in it to prepare for CT scan. I kept throwing that up but they did the CT scan anyway and right after that they said I had to have my appendix removed. After surgery my gut felt better but I had pain in my shoulders, upper rib, and neck area. Today is the next day and I'm still feeling the worst pain in the shoulder, upper rib, and neck area, but I know it'll get batter. I was told if I felt this pain it would be gas and I needed to move around. I'm trying to do that. Getting up from a sitting or lying position is the most painful.

Comment from: supergran0606, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 19

I had pain under ribs and at back; turned out my appendix had ruptured causing an abscess the size of a large grapefruit next to my liver. By that time I had collapsed lung and pneumonia so they could not operate, but drained the abscess. There was also one attached to my stomach. A year later a very tiny appendix was removed, clearly the remainder of the appendix.

Comment from: MJBrewer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

At 7.5 months pregnant, my car was hit broadside in an intersection, at approximately 45 mph. Red flags waved when they realized I was pregnant, but the tests confirmed that although the baby refused movement for over an hour, she was fine. About a week after she was born, my back hurt tremendously. I saw a chiropractor who gave me periodic massages to reduce the pain which always returned. My pain became so intense that I could not work, often times could not shop, and couldn't carry things, including a gallon of milk. My four-year-old son had to carry heavier articles, including his sister on the rare times she was held. I would change her and bathe her, but he would need to carry her wherever I needed her to be. Several years later, with the symptoms worsening considerably, I sat in my recliner unable to move. After asking if I was alright several times, and my confirmation I was, although I couldn't move and sat with tears soaking my face, my daughter called 911. I had an emergency appendectomy. Immediately, I was pain-free. At first, I ridiculously thought that doctor had taken pity on me and cut the additional nerve to my back while performing the appendectomy. But years later, in a discussion with a friend, I was informed that it could have been an additional problem to my herniated and ruptured discs. The final result was no pain. The doctors never told me any of this, and I'd seen a total of nine. The appendix, although extremely small in comparison, should be examined any time there's unexplainable pain in the stomach or lower back regions.

Comment from: Jeanne, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 24

I was walking my dogs on the beach one morning, when I had cramping and I rushed home and had diarrhea. I felt ok and went to work. Around noon I felt lightheaded and started shivering uncontrollably. I had my coworker take me home. I sat in the sun until I warmed up and then rested for the remainder of the day. I felt ok when I woke up the next day but my blood pressure was very low. I had slight tenderness on my lower right side, and cramping and pain around to my back. I googled my symptoms and thought I had a bladder or urinary tract infection. Around noon, I started shivering so uncontrollably that I called a taxi to take me to urgent care. They checked me out and said I had very low blood pressure and was dehydrated but no fever. They hooked me up to an IV for fluids and started blood tests. Seven hours later they still didn't know what was wrong with me and were ready to send me home since they were closing, with the instructions to go to the emergency room (ER) if I had any worsening of symptoms. As I was getting ready to go, some blood tests came back with unusual numbers and they told me to go over to the ER to get checked out. I was in the ER for seven hours, while they did blood tests, pressed on my abdomen, and did an ultrasound which did not reveal anything. They sent me in for a CAT scan which showed appendicitis. And I was admitted that evening and had laparoscopic surgery. They told me my removed appendix had been inflamed. During this whole ordeal, the slight pain in my lower right abdomen was the least of my symptoms.

Comment from: midnight, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 29

My son woke at 3 am with pain around belly button. The pain was pretty constant. He felt like a bowel motion but couldn't. By about 8.00 am pain moved a little to the right. He was walking hunched over and holding a hand on his tummy. It hurt to lay on either side. Blood test at 9.00 am showed increased WBC but no inflammatory markers. Temperature was 37.3. He was operated upon the next morning to remove the appendix.

Comment from: 13-18 Female Published: October 28

My son who was 15 at the time just didn't feel well. He still had an appetite but he was complaining of stomach pain. He woke up on a Friday morning still not feeling well. On Sunday I took him to Urgent Care and urine and blood tests came back negative and no fever. By Monday morning he was not any better so I called family physician who was out of town but the office said if it was appendicitis he would have to go to hospital anyway so to go there. All tests came back negative again and also the ultrasound showed no signs of appendicitis. ER doctor told us it was a virus and that he would be better in a couple of days. By this time I was at my wits end and didn't know what to do. Thankfully my physician's nurse called me that afternoon and wanted to know how he was feeling and when I told her she put another doctor on the phone with me and he said to get back to the emergency room and we would be seen by the surgeon on call. Thank the Lord because he did one pressure test on stomach and said he was 99% sure he needed surgery. Sure enough he already had infection and appendix was removed.

Published: August 27

I developed symptoms of upper abdominal pain after dinner one evening. It was a gnawing, burning feeling, but also similar to nausea, however antacids didn't help. It lasted till about 4 a.m., then subsided. Three days later (after eating a small lunch), I again developed upper abdominal pain that would not go away. I thought it was possibly an ulcer or gallbladder problem. It never once hurt on my lower right side, though it was a little achy around my lower back area. I went to the emergency room and the doctor was convinced at first that it was an ulcer. Blood work came back fine, but none of the emergency treatments for ulcers helped the pain, which was becoming more intense by the hour. It reminded me of labor pains, but higher up in the abdomen. Finally, I had a CT scan which showed an inflamed appendix. My appendix was located high up in my abdomen and not in the normal place. Emergency laparoscopic surgery was performed and I actually felt 100% better after waking up in the recovery room. The doctor said I had a very “angry looking” appendix, but luckily it hadn't ruptured.

Comment from: ATLNewYorker, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 02

Over the past weekend I did develop a loss of appetite. I began with diarrhea with food eaten before being ill. After that there was only gas when I thought I had to go to the bathroom. I did start to vomit only when I had no more it was only gagging. Having Crohn's and colitis I called my doctor 5,000 miles back at home to hear him say go to the ER with the symptoms to clear up what was happening. The ER doctor did just that and ordered a CAT SCAN which showed no colitis problem but an appendix about to burst. My flight home from Honolulu was less than 8 hours away. I had earlier thought I would let my problem wait to be seen by my GI doctor in New York. Had I waited I was told that the rupture in air with the pressure flying would have caused instant death. I had emergency surgery just as the appendix started to rupture in the hospital. I am lucky to be alive but I had a great surgeon at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu. Now, I am at my vacation home recovering with another week in Paradise. This must be heaven with all the angels that helped me. Thanks!

Published: August 27

Initially, I experienced just a nagging backache which I attributed to sleeping in an awkward position. After a few days, my stomach became distended, and I realized that I was constipated. But after a few days of lots of fruits and vegetables, I had no relief. So I took a laxative and woke during the night in extreme pain. The next day, my stomach still distended and hurt, but I blamed it on the laxative. Finally on day 7, I went to ER and appendicitis was diagnosed. During surgery they found that a part of my colon had also become infected and had to be removed. It has now been 10 days since surgery and I am still recuperating! Earlier diagnosis would have greatly reduced the extent of surgery and recovery.

Comment from: Siwe, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I feel pain, I lost appetite and have been vomiting since 2013 till now. I am worried if it is appendicitis.

Comment from: Dolly, 45-54 (Patient) Published: December 02

I just had an emergency appendectomy last Saturday. I woke up at 1 a.m. with severe stomach cramping and started vomiting a little. Then I got waves of nausea. When I laid on my right side, I felt much better. It was the nausea that was overwhelming. Around 10 a.m., I went downstairs and vomited again and passed out and woke up on the floor. I knew something was wrong. I continued to have very sharp stomach cramps across my entire abdomen, but then the pain moved to my right lower side. When I got to the doctor, still hoping it was the flu, my right lower side was somewhat tender, but only mildly tender. When I got to the hospital, they gave me contrast to drink for a CT scan, which I promptly vomited up. On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain was an eight, but the nausea was a 25! After the operation at 1 a.m., the surgeon told me it was an extremely severe infection and that I was lucky it didn't rupture. It was done laparoscopically. I stayed in the hospital two nights on antibiotics (Levaquin and Flagyl), and then was discharged home. Three days since the surgery, I feel 90 percent better with only a little scar pain.

Comment from: shiger, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 10

I was 8 years old in 1940 when I had a very bad "stomach ache." It began early in the morning at school. I went through the entire day walking up and down stairs. At 3pm my father took me and my sister to the grocery store a block away from our apartment in the Bronx. When I sat down on a metal box outside the store my father noticed I was in pain and asked me the questions "what's wrong" and "how long have you been in pain?" I told him "all day." Cut to an ambulance arriving at our apartment, carrying me out on a stretcher. I remember lying under a huge bright light on the ceiling of a strange room. The next thing I remember is being in a ward of the hospital with huge bandages on my stomach. I went home in about a week or 10 days later. My reason for writing: My father knew what was wrong with me immediately because his father had died of a burst appendix.

Comment from: george, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 27

I had a lot of gas, small stools, and extreme back pain. The day it burst I had pains also on my right side and chills with a fever.

Comment from: vijaykumar, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 31

With appendicitis, I had severe pain in the abdomen, vomiting, fever, and jitters.

Comment from: Suzanne, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 09

I am not sure what is happening yet. I began having severe pain. At first, it felt like UTI as I could see visible blood in urine. I had my husband go get AZO as we were leaving on a trip in morning & I didn't want to ruin trip. I got so bad during night I almost drove myself to ER but I was afraid I would not be able to go on trip, so I just kept drinking water and cranberry juice and taking my regular pain medication. Symptoms relieved a bit and I was able to drive. I have been very nauseated and had chills. The back pain has been excessive. Monday all symptoms came back in full force. I asked hubby to rub back and took meds and thankfully went to sleep. I began reading this site concerned that it could be appendix pain. Tuesday morning the pain is on the lower right side. I still have many other symptoms but I'm going to try to hold off until I get back home. I don't want to ruin trip as I surprised hubby with seeing his daughter which we have not been able to see in ten years. I have lots of people praying so hopefully whatever this is it doesn't get worse until I can see a doctor.

Comment from: Peypey1003, 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: July 05

At first I felt hungry, but wasn't satisfied after eating. Then I experienced profound left abdominal pain accompanied by intermittent minor nausea. As the condition progressed, the pain transferred and lessened to the right abdomen. Then I underwent an emergent laparoscopy for non-perforated appendicitis.

Comment from: STORMI, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 18

I started experiencing pain in my lower left side. Then the next day, I had pain, nausea, and vomiting. Later on, the pain lessened if I laid on my right side. Then I woke up one morning and I had to go to the hospital. They told me that my appendix had ruptured and that it was a miracle I was still alive. Somehow, my bowel was ruptured, too.

Comment from: JanelleS, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 08

When I developed appendicitis, the first notable symptom I had was mild abdominal and back pain, for which I took some aspirin, and it went away. About six hours later I developed severe chills, from which there was no relief. Very quickly after that I had nausea and very severe vomiting. While in hospital the chills persisted for almost 24 hours until I had the emergency surgery. There was nothing I could do to get warm, and at one point was lying in the hospital bed wearing a long shirt, sweat pants, a thick winter hoodie AND a down jacket with a blanket on top. I was still shivering. For me the chills were the very worst symptom.

Comment from: Sandra, 55-64 Female Published: June 28

It's nearly 2 weeks since I had my operation to remove my appendix. I had noticed that my stomach was swollen the night before but had no other symptoms at that time. The next day I set off, with friends to walk up a mountain, as I was on holiday at the time. After about a mile and a half, I developed a pain in my abdomen under my belly button which then moved fairly quickly down my right side. I had to turn back with a friend, suspecting a stomach bug. Within an hour, I didn't know what to do with myself as the pain became so uncomfortable and I was quite sick a couple of times. My friend phoned the local GP who asked me to come to his surgery. He diagnosed appendicitis and phoned for an ambulance to take me to the nearest hospital, 30 miles away. I was admitted straight away and examined. A CT scan was ordered to check on diagnosis and to rule out 2 other possible causes for my pain. I had surgery the same day and am now recovering well at home. The hospital staff was fantastic and tried to make my stay as painless as possible. Apart from this incident, I am usually very well and keep myself active, going to the gym 3 times a week and walking regularly in the Scottish countryside.

Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

My experience with appendicitis was something other than normal. I went to bed that night feeling completely normal with no symptoms. About 3 hours later I woke up in the most pain I've ever felt in my life in my stomach. I couldn't even walk! I had to crawl! I had no other symptoms. No fever, no vomiting, no nausea, no constipation. I went to the hospital immediately and a CT scan was done to confirm appendicitis. After they got the results of the scan, they me in surgery in less than an hour! I didn't even have time to think!

Comment from: jeanne, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

When I had appendicitis, I had a dull ache, which appeared around belly button and under breast bone. My pain was gradually becoming worse, and I knew something was not right. I drove to the hospital emergency department. They took blood and did X-rays, but they could not find anything wrong. I was told it was possibly hormonal (female 47) or maybe even gastro related. I was worried. The next morning I was in tears as I drove my son to school at 8am. The pain was constantly making me feel really sick. I called my local GP, explained I had been to hospital the night before and was still in pain. This was Tuesday morning and they told me they were full and could not see me until Thursday. At 1pm I was in my kitchen when I felt like somebody had thrown a hot sharp knife in my right side. I collapsed in shock, managed to call my husband who called the ambulance. I have given birth and the pain I had with appendicitis was worse. The medics started to administer pain relief right away. My appendix had perforated. I got to hospital and suffered huge delays and incompetence. I realize this was life-threatening and am now just about to inform the hospital of what I suffered. It has been one week since surgery and I am trying hard to get on with my life. That's about all for now...

Comment from: Nickie, Female (Patient) Published: March 04

I had appendicitis and before I was diagnosed, I had back pains, pains on the right side of my stomach, chills and constipation.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 24

All of this information is very helpful. Thank you. Right now I'm resting and waiting to go to my follow-up. Out of nowhere I had an extremely sharp throbbing pressure that was so excruciating. Unsure of what it was, I knew something was really wrong. I went to the ER and all the test mentioned were done. Everything came back negative, but the ER doctor was convinced it's appendicitis in the very early stages. I'm resting in hopes it doesn't rupture in the next couple of days. Thanks again. All this information is helpful.

Comment from: angel, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 15

I had appendicitis. I was very nauseated and had a stomachache. I also had a feeling of intense hunger and prior to going to the hospital, I consumed 5 bowls of Cheerios. My symptoms were somewhat different from the norm. Luckily my appendix never ruptured.

Comment from: lkcyne, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 11

I had appendicitis last February. After dinner one evening, my stomach began to hurt and I developed acid reflux. Having had dyspepsia in the past, I chalked it up to another episode of that. The only problem was with dyspepsia I do not usually become constipated and I do not lose my appetite. I took some medication I had left over for the dyspepsia. That made me feel a little better ,but I could not get rid of the stomach pain. After suffering for 15 hours, I finally told my husband to take me to ER. I presented with no fever and no other symptoms of appendicitis besides severe stomach pain--8/10 on the pain scale. The ER doctor palpated my stomach and immediately said he thought it was appendicitis. The pain centralized to my side during palpation instead of my entire stomach hurting. He ordered an IV started with blood and urine labs and a CT scan. The labs indicated an infection and the CT scan confirmed what the doctor suspected. I was rushed into surgery and had my appendix removed. After the surgery, they discovered a cancerous tumor in my appendix. Thankfully, it had not spread. In my case, appendicitis may have save me a lot of pain down the road.

Comment from: medichughes, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 11

I just had surgery for appendicitis. I had a slight fever and dull abdominal pain. My fever increased over the day, and at dinner could not eat. I was terribly nauseated and I could not drink enough water. The next day, the pain had moved to my lower right quadrant. I thought it might have been my appendix, and I went to the urgent care hoping I was wrong. After the exam, I was sent directly to the hospital, where my fever spiked to 106 degrees. There I was told it was official appendicitis. I had surgery about 36 hours from the onset of my symptoms.

Patient Comments & Reviews

  • Appendicitis - Prognosis

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Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCES:

Addiss, D. G., et.al., The Epidemiology of Appendicitis and Appendectomy in the United States. vol. 132, No. 5: 910-925

American Academy of Family Physicians. Acute Appendicitis: Review and Update.

Bendeck, S. et.al., Imaging for Suspected Appendicitis: Negative Appendectomy and Perforation Rates. Radiology 2002; 225:131-136.

eMedicine.com. Appendicitis.

MedscapeReference.com. Appendicitis.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Appendicitis.

Rao, P,M. et al. Introduction of appendiceal CT: impact on negative appendectomy and appendiceal perforation rates. Ann Surg. 1999 March; 229(3): 344–349.

UpToDate. Acute appendicitis in adults: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis.

UpToDate. Acute appendicitis in children: Management.

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