Health Scare For CBS Anchor Norah O'Donnell Sparks Discussion About Appendicitis
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – "CBS This Morning" anchor Norah O'Donnell is recovering from an emergency appendectomy over the weekend. O'Donnell said she's doing OK.
O'Donnell was in Charleston, South Carolina, on a spring break vacation. Her husband said she played two hours of tennis with appendicitis, which is something doctors say you shouldn't do.
On Instagram, Norah O'Donnell wrote, "I am feeling much better and hope to return to NYC later this week if I feel well enough to fly."
O'Donnell also talked about lessons she learned, including surgery is painful, to listen to your body if you're in pain, see a doctor – "don't wait five days like I did ignoring pain," she wrote.
The CBS anchor is among 300,000 people who have appendicitis every year.
It's a common condition. Symptoms include abdominal pain that starts around the navel and then moves to the lower right side, poor appetite, nausea – sometimes vomiting – with a fever.
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The current treatment for adults is usually laparoscopic surgery to remove the appendix.
"The major risk of not having surgery from appendicitis is that it would continue to inflame and then rupture or burst," Dr. Oscar Guillamondegui said. "And that can lead to a major abscess, which can lead to severe sepsis, a protracted stay in the hospital and even death."
Diagnosing appendicitis can be difficult because the symptoms can be similar to other health issues. Doctors generally have to rule out other things first, such as kidney stones.
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Researchers are also currently studying using antibiotics vs. surgery to treat the condition.
Most patients leave the hospital one or two days after surgery and are back to normal activities in two to six weeks.
Appendicitis can be caused by a variety of things. Most often, it's caused from some kind of blockage of the appendix or an infection.
It usually strikes younger people.
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