Appendicitis


​Appendicitis occurs when your appendix is swollen. The appendix is a small tube or pouch that is attached to the large intestine.​​ It is not known what apparent function an appendix serves in the body and you can easily live without it even if it is removed. 

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix gets inflamed due to blockage by faeces, a foreign object, or a tumour. Blockage may also be due to infection, since the appendix swells in response to any infection in the body.

​Symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Dull pain near the navel or the upper abdomen (stomach) that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen

  • Pain that worsens if you cough or walk

  • Bloating 

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Fever

  • Pain experienced during urination

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhoea

If not treated within 24 to 48 hours, appendicitis can get complicated by rupture of the appendix resulting in spillage of pus into the abdomen. Therefore, if you are experiencing the above mentioned problems raising suspicion of appendicitis, you should seek treatment on emergency basis.

if your child is complaining of consistent abdominal pain, consult a doctor working with the Children's Hospital at The Aga Khan University Hospital.​​

​If you are facing any of the above symptoms, seek immediate help from your doctor working with the GI and Surgery Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital. Get your child medically examined by doctors at the Children's Hospital if he/she is complaining of uncontrollable pain.

Timely diagnosis and treatment is very important in appendicitis. You may be assured of receiving the best quality medical care, additional information and medical advice from our expert, highly trained and internationally accredited staff. You can safely and privately discuss your symptoms, gain advice and receive personalized treatment and care. 

​Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

To test for appendicitis, your doctor will use one of the following techniques:

  • Physical examination: Your doctor will conduct a physical check by gently pressing on the painful area. Releasing the pressure will cause a sharp pain in your belly, which shows that your appendix is inflamed. Your doctor may also check for muscle rigidity and conduct a rectal examination (by inserting a lubricated finger into your rectum) or gynaecological examination on women, to check for other causes of the pain.

  • Blood test: This will be done to check for infection.

  • Urine test: This will be done to check for infection or presence of kidney stones. 

  • Other tests: This includes X-rays or Computerized Tomography (CT) scans to confirm the diagnosis of appendicitis or look for other causes of pain. 

​A surgery known as appendectomy has to be performed to remove the appendix. Your doctor may prescribe medications before the surgery to get rid of the infection. 

Appendectomy can be performed in one of two ways. First method is laparotomy, which is an open surgery done by making one long incision, about two to four inches long, in your abdominal region. The second method is called laparoscopy, in which your surgeon makes a few small cuts on your abdomen. He/she will insert a special surgical tool with a video camera attached on it into your abdomen to locate and remove your appendix.

Both types of surgeries have their own indications, advantages and disadvantages. Your doctor can help you in choosing better treatment option for you depending on your condition.

​Please click here for some guidelines on what to do before your surgery.

There can be some complications caused during appendicitis, including:

  • A ruptured appendix: A rupture spreads infection throughout your abdomen. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate surgery to remove the appendix.

  • A pocket of pus in the abdomen: If your appendix bursts, you may develop a pocket of infection known as an abscess. This can be drained by a surgeon by placing a tube through your abdominal wall. The tube is left there for a period of two weeks. You will also be prescribed antibiotics to clear the infection.​

​Please click here for some guidelines on what to do after your surgery.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

​The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider. ​