Seriously, we have received many emails thanking us for the role we played in helping someone figure out they had appendicitis. Of course, their doctors are the ones that should be credited with saving their lives, but it’s always nice to hear how we’ve helped out.
And if the WebMD iPhone app doesn’t do the trick, you can always use your smart phone to send a CT image of your abdomen to your doctor. Yes, doctors actually tested an iPhone app that delivers CT images to help diagnose appendicitis.
It’s critically important to recognize appendicitis as delay in diagnosis and treatment can be life threatening. Many years ago, appendicitis was not an uncommon cause of death. Thankfully, today better diagnosis and treatment has made this quite rare.
So why is WebMD so good at identifying appendicitis? While I’d like to take credit for WebMD being an appendix specialist, the truth is that appendicitis displays very typical symptoms. This often makes it relatively easy to recognize the symptoms using tools like the WebMD Symptom Checker, available both on WebMD.com and as an iPhone app.
How do you tell the difference between the nearly endless number of other causes of abdominal pain and appendicitis? There is one particular sign that makes you immediately think “It’s my appendix!”
If you have pain around your belly button that starts shifting to the lower right part of your abdomen, call your doctor. While it might not be appendicitis, that type of abdominal pain is very indicative of appendicitis and should be evaluated immediately. Also, if you have abdominal pain with fever, that’s another good sign of appendicitis and shouldn’t be ignored.
A doctor can usually easily diagnose appendicitis and most people receive laparoscopic surgery through small incisions in the belly.
The Internet, if I do say so myself, is a great tool in helping you determine if you have something serious that needs immediate medical attention. Of course, if you’re ever concerned it might be serious, you should never hesitate. Call your doctor or 911 immediately.
How have you used our technology to help yourself or a family member? Post your comments on the Welcome Exchange.