By, Dr. Lata Bhat, Pediatrics
The appendix is on the right side of the abdomen. An acute infection of the appendix is called appendicitis and you need to get it removed if it gets infected. The good thing is that even if it is removed, it does not make much of a difference to the functioning of your body. Commonly found in young children, diagnosis of the appendicitis needs to be done quickly. Otherwise a burst appendix could make your child extremely sick.
Signs and Symptoms-
In children, the symptoms might differ but they could include:
a) Pain starting around belly button
b) Acute pain in the stomach which gets worse by moving or touching
c) Pain which shifts to the right side of the abdomen
d) High Temperature
e) Nausea and Vomiting
f) Constipation or Diarrhea
g) Loss of appetite
How is it diagnosed?
The doctor will make a detailed enquiry of your child’s history of the symptoms and illness; and when and where the pain started along with its intensity.
A thorough physical examination by checking on the painful areas and even other areas of the abdomen may be done, even multiple times.
If not sure, he or she might do an x-ray or an ultrasound and a blood test to look for any signs of infection.
If the appendix is acutely infected, appendicectomy operation needs to be performed to remove the appendix. It could either be laparoscopic or open. Laparoscopic is done through a small telescope with three small keyhole cuts, each about 1-2 cm long. In an open surgery, a small cut of about 5-7cm is given across the abdomen. Depending on how severe the appendicitis is, the doctor will decide on the method.