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Oct 15, 2015

Healthy Living Looks at the Symptoms of Appendicitis

If you have abdominal pain that lasts more than twenty-four hours; it must not be ignored because it could be turn out to be life-threatening. Appendicitis is a condition that affects men and women as well as young people. In tonight’s segment, Healthy Living outlines the signs and symptoms with a veteran surgeon.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Appendicitis is a medical condition that requires immediate medical attention. In fact, after the initial symptoms, the patient has less than forty-eight hours to get surgery and have their appendix remove. General Surgeon, Doctor Pedro Gonzales explains why.


Pedro Gonzales

Dr. Pedro Gonzales, Surgeon, BMA

“The word appendicitis means inflammation of the appendix or ordinarily talking, the swelling of the appendix. What causes this most of the time is an obstruction; it gets blocked. Anything that blocks or obstructs the appendix, the inside of the appendix, it will give you inflammation of the appendix and that is the way that it begins, with mild swelling of the inside. That’s the first step. It is recommendable that people with abdominal pain…if you have pain for twenty-four hours, go get some help. Don’t want for two days. Don’t wait forty-eight hours because it becomes critical because the inflammation progresses. From that inflammatory phase, which is only a little inflammation, then the wall gets more swelling and because of the compression, it does not receive enough blood so it begins to—what we call get necrotic. It begins to die, it begins to dry. The wall gets so damaged that it would progress to a more serious stage in which the wall already is so fragile that bacteria and toxins from within the appendix begin to get through the wall and they invade the abdominal cavity.”


The worst case scenario is if the inflamed appendix bursts, spilling infectious matter into the abdominal cavity. This can cause an infection within the abdomen itself – a serious and potentially fatal scenario. Parents are urged to never underestimate abdominal pains in children. There are a few other symptoms you can look for as well.


Dr. Pedro Gonzales

“What predominates is upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, the appetite disappears. If you ask the patient how is your appetite…it is poor, I’m not hungry, I’m not thirsty. I just feel bad and  don’t feel like eat. That is the start. And the abdominal pain, which also comes, can be mild, cramp-like and it begins around the upper abdomen, the belly-button. Then it will shift to the right side, to the right lower portion of the abdomen. That takes about eight to twelve hours if left alone.”
Doctor Gonzales finds it a common trend that patients with appendicitis have usually reported having a cold or flu within the past few weeks. However, it can happen at random to any person at any age. So knowing to identify the tell tale pain in the lower right abdomen can help.


Dr. Pedro Gonzales

“If you happen to have to abdominal pain like the one we described with those symptoms, don’t wait. Seek help anywhere; any doctor before you take any antibiotics. We recommend you don’t take any antibiotics until you know what you have. Otherwise when you find out it is appendix is already ruptured or you develop an abscess.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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