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Southlake Style

Be Alert to the Signs of Appendicitis

Aug 24, 2015 10:12AM ● By Dia

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By Jeffrey Peebles, M.D. – Southlake Medical Director, Complete Care

While experts are not particularly certain why we have an appendix, one thing is for sure – if it bursts, that can lead to huge problems. When the appendix becomes inflamed, that is a condition known as appendicitis. If the inflammation gets bad enough, the appendix can burst and fill the abdominal cavity with potentially life-threatening infectious material. Should you notice any of the symptoms of this problem, you need to get to your nearest Complete Care emergency medical facility as quickly as you can.

Abdominal Discomfort

This is the symptom most closely associated with appendicitis. If you notice a dull pain near your belly button that migrates to the lower right area of your stomach, then you should be worried. The reason is that an attack of appendicitis could be imminent. You should also get to a medical facility if your abdomen is painful to the touch, or you have pain that is accompanied by fever, aching, chills, nausea, back pain or a decreased appetite.

 Other Symptoms

While abdominal pain is the most typical symptom, there can be others as well. For example, if it is painful to urinate, you experience severe cramping or constipation, or you have diarrhea with gas, you should consider visiting a doctor. This is also the case if you have a sharp or dull pain in the rectum, back, or lower or upper abdomen.

If you have any reason whatsoever to believe you have appendicitis, do not hesitate to get medical help. Do not try to “ride out” the pain, and do not use a heating pad, laxative or antacids, because these could cause a rupture.


The most common treatment for appendicitis is removal of the appendix, also known as an appendectomy. Your doctor will very likely opt for the safest possible course of action, and that is removing the appendix quickly to avoid the possibility of a rupture. In some instances, one procedure is performed to drain any abscesses that may have formed, and then another is performed to take out the organ.

If you come down with an attack of appendicitis or you ever experience any kind of medical emergency, get in touch with the experts at Complete Care. Contact us online to learn more.


Dr. Jeffrey Peebles, M.D. has an extensive amount of experience in delivering advanced emergency care. He is board certified with the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians/Texas College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Peebles is committed to providing timely, affordable and high-quality medical care to the Southlake community.