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The Top Causes of Lower Right Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is a common reason to visit the doctor, whether in an office or emergency department visit.  According to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, abdominal pain was the reason for 1.5-percent of all visits to doctor’s offices.  Research at the University of Connecticut Medical School revealed abdominal pain accounted for 5-percent of all visits to the emergency department.  Of those visits to the emergency department, approximately 10-percent required surgery.

The top ten causes of lower right abdominal pain are…


1.  Appendicitis

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix.  The appendix is a worm-like pouch that projects from the ascending colon, which is the first section of the colon (large intestine).  No one knows the specific purpose of the appendix.  Associated symptoms may include fever, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite (anorexia).  Surgery to remove the appendix (appendectomy) is the usual outcome of an episode of appendicitis.

If surgery is delayed, the appendix could rupture and spread an infection throughout the abdomen (peritonitis). Recent research in Finland, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found antibiotic treatment of appendicitis to be as effective as surgery to remove the appendix.

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