Healthcare provider will conduct a physical examination as well as ask about the signs and symptoms and do an abdominal examination to help determine appendicitis. Appendicitis is diagnosed using many procedures and tests, including:
- Physical examination: On the painful location, where a little pressure will be used. Appendicitis pain frequently gets worse when the pressure is suddenly removed, indicating that the nearby peritoneum is irritated. During this procedure, the healthcare provider will also evaluate for any abdominal tightness and tendency of the abdominal muscles to become rigid in reaction to pressure placed on the inflamed appendix.
- Imaging tests: Such as computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), abdominal ultrasound, or an x-ray will assist the healthcare provider to properly diagnose appendicitis or identify any other causes of the pain.
- Blood test: To evaluate for an infection by looking for a high white blood cell count.
- Urine test: To rule out urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney stones that might cause similar abdominal pain.
The most common treatment for appendicitis is surgical removal of the inflamed appendix.
- Appendectomy: is the standard treatment that surgically removes the appendix, which stops the appendix from rupturing if it has not yet ruptured, as well as preventing the infection from spreading. A single abdominal incision of between 2 and 4 inches (5 and 10 cm) long can be used to perform an appendectomy as an open procedure (laparotomy). Alternatively, a few tiny abdominal incisions might be used to do the procedure (laparoscopic appendectomy). Surgeon will insert a video camera and surgical tools into the abdomen to remove appendix during laparoscopic surgery.
However, not everyone is a suitable for laparoscopic surgery. They could require an open appendectomy, which enables the surgeon to clean the entire abdominal cavity, especially if the appendix has ruptured, the infection has moved outside of it, or if the patient have an abscess.
- Drainage of abscess: For the ruptured appendix that developed abscess and needed to be drained before the appendectomy. A tube will be inserted through the skin and into the abscess. After the infection has been controlled for a few weeks, an appendectomy can be done.