Q: How do you know if you have appendicitis?
A: Pain that starts at the bellybutton and moves to the lower right part of the abdomen is the primary warning sign that you have appendicitis. Other early appendicitis symptoms include nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Check out the symptoms page to learn more about appendicitis warning signs.
Q: Where is appendicitis pain felt?
A: In most people, appendicitis pain begins in the middle of the abdomen and travels to the lower right part, where the appendix is located. In some people, however, the pain is felt in different areas, such as the back passage or lower in the groin.
Pregnant women feel the pain in the upper right part of their stomach or even under the ribs, as the appendix moves upwards because of the growing baby.1
Q: Does appendicitis pain come and go?
A: Yes, appendicitis pain may come and go. However, it will gradually increase and eventually become constant. Other symptoms like nausea and vomiting may follow.2
Q: Can appendicitis cause back pain?
A: Yes. There are people whose appendix lies behind the colon. In this case, appendix pain may manifest as lower back pain or pelvic pain.3
Q: Can stress cause appendicitis?
A: There are no specific studies confirming the link between stress and appendicitis. However, a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research concluded that stress and depression may have a crucial role in the development of GI symptoms.4 Read more about the causes of appendicitis here.
Q: Is appendicitis contagious?
A: No. Appendicitis is not contagious. You cannot catch it from anyone who is suffering from this illness.5.
Q: How long is the appendicitis surgery recovery time?
A: The recovery time depends on the type of procedure, type of anesthesia and if any complications have developed (such as if the appendix has ruptured). Patients who have had a laparoscopic appendectomy may be discharged immediately and allowed to recover at home (and may only have a small appendicitis scar), but those who have had an open surgery may need to stay overnight or a few days in the hospital.
You can resume normal activities in a few days, but full recovery may take four to six weeks, and strenuous activity should be avoided.6
Q: Can you die from appendicitis?
A: Yes. It’s possible to die from appendicitis if the inflamed appendix bursts and leads to peritonitis, which can spread quickly in the body, resulting in septicemia (bacteria in the bloodstream). Septicemia triggers an inflammatory response called sepsis, which can then result in septic shock, multiple organ failure and death. This is why if you feel any of the symptoms, consult your doctor for an appendicitis physical exam (and other diagnostic screening methods) immediately to confirm if you have this illness.