Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Start by making an appointment with your family doctor or a general practitioner if you experience abdominal pain. If your doctor determines you have appendicitis, you'll likely be hospitalized and referred to a surgeon who can remove your appendix.
Questions your doctor may ask you
To help in diagnosing your condition, your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions about your signs and symptoms, such as:
- When did you first begin experiencing abdominal pain?
- What part of your abdomen hurts?
- Has the pain moved from one part of your abdomen to another part?
- How severe is your pain?
- What makes your pain more severe?
- What helps relieve your pain?
- Do you have a fever?
- Do you feel nauseous?
- What other signs and symptoms do you have?
Questions you can ask your doctor
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Do I have appendicitis?
- Will I need any more tests to determine whether I have appendicitis?
- Do I need surgery for my appendicitis?
- How soon do I need surgery?
- What are the risks of appendix surgery?
- How long will I need to stay in the hospital after surgery?
- How long will it take to recover after surgery?
- How soon after surgery can I go back to work?
- Can you tell by my signs and symptoms whether my appendix has burst?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment.
- Ben-David K, et al. Appendicitis. In: Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed June 23, 2011.
- Appendicitis, acute. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed June 23, 2011.
- Appendicitis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/appendicitis/. Accessed June 23, 2011.
- Appendectomy. American College of Surgeons. http://www.facs.org/public_info/operation/brochures/app.pdf. Accessed June 23, 2011.