What Can Happen If Your Appendix Bursts?

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Most of us have a friend or at least a friend-of-a-friend that has experienced appendicitis. Because appendicitis is fairly common, many people don’t realize just how serious this condition actually is. In fact, untreated appendicitis can lead to life-threatening complications. To ensure your health and safety, signs and symptoms of appendicitis should be evaluated immediately by a medical professional. The award-winning team of board-certified emergency room physicians at iCare ER & Urgent Care is highly experienced in the early detection and treatment of appendicitis in Frisco and Fort Worth, TX. Learn more about appendicitis here, including what may happen if your appendix ruptures and what to do if you suspect appendicitis.

What is the appendix?

Many physicians and medical experts believe that the appendix, which is a thin, pouch-like tube that lies near the meeting point of the small and large intestines, does not serve any essential function in the body. However, some speculate that the appendix may play an important role in the digestive tract. In any case, most agree that the appendix can be safely removed if needed – as in the event of appendicitis – without posing any threat to the patient.

What is appendicitis?

Appendicitis is a fairly common condition involving inflammation and/or infection of the appendix. The precise cause of appendicitis is not well understood, and it can affect anyone at any time, though it is more frequently seen in children. Because appendicitis can lead to widespread infection, a ruptured appendix, and other severe or life-threatening complications, almost immediate diagnosis and treatment are necessary.

How do I know if I have appendicitis?

Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of appendicitis often mimic those of other conditions, making it a difficult ailment to self-diagnose. Additionally, appendicitis symptoms may initially be subtle or confusing, particularly in pregnant women and older patients. In infants and children, appendicitis is often mistaken for a stomach bug and left untreated, leading to dangerous complications. To avoid worsening symptoms and more serious infections, it is important to understand how to identify the signs of appendicitis and when a visit to the ER is necessary. The most common symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Sudden onset of abdominal pain
  • Abdominal pain that migrates and settles in the lower right side
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Pain with physical activity

If you think you or your loved one may be experiencing appendix pain or other symptoms of appendicitis, it is important to visit your nearest Frisco or Fort Worth ER immediately. During your visit to iCare ER & Urgent Care, you will be evaluated promptly and may undergo lab work, imaging studies, and other tests to determine with certainty whether your symptoms are related to appendicitis.

What happens when your appendix bursts?

When appendicitis is left untreated, bacteria and pus begin to build up in the appendix and cause it to swell. Ultimately, the wall of the appendix is compromised, allowing the pus and other bacteria to ooze out into the abdominal cavity. Though it is not an explosive event, this is referred to as bursting or rupturing of the appendix. As the infection spreads throughout the abdomen, patients often experience worsening symptoms, including high fever and severe pain.

Most cases of a ruptured appendix occur about 48 – 72 hours after the onset of symptoms. A ruptured appendix is always considered an emergency and requires immediate treatment. If left untreated, a ruptured appendix can lead to widespread infection, abscess, sepsis (an infection in the bloodstream), and even death.

If it has been determined that your appendix has burst, you will likely require almost immediate surgery to remove the appendix and clean the abdominal cavity, followed by an extended course of antibiotic therapy to ensure the infection has been cleared.

Don’t risk your life by ignoring appendix pain. Visit your closest ER for almost immediate appendicitis treatment in Frisco or Fort Worth.

If you are having abdominal pain and think it may be related to your appendix, don’t wait to seek treatment. Appendicitis and a ruptured appendix are critical conditions that require rapid diagnosis and care. To find out for sure whether you may be suffering from appendicitis, visit your nearest iCare ER & Urgent Care in Frisco or Fort Worth, TX to be seen by our expert team of board-certified ER physicians and medical professionals today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.