Skilled surgical teams


When your most precious treasure needs surgery, you want to know that your child is in the very best hands. The surgical teams at the Richland Hospital are among the very best at what they do. Children are every bit as precious to us as they are to you.

Led by highly skilled, compassionate surgeons, the Richland Hospital surgical teams score high in patient/ parent satisfaction and rank among the lowest in the country in infection rates.



What is appendicitis?


appendicitisAppendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch that is attached to the large intestine on the lower right side of the abdomen.


What causes appendicitis?

The appendix may get blocked by part of the bowel movement that becomes hard or by food. This can cause swelling and pain. The appendix can become infected with bacteria or a virus. Appendicitis can also be caused by a parasite, a tumor, or barium. Barium is a chemical that is used for certain imaging tests.

What are the signs and symptoms of appendicitis?

Symptoms may start suddenly. The most common symptom is pain that starts at the belly button and moves to the right, lower side of the abdomen. The pain worsens when your child touches his or her abdomen, moves, sneezes, coughs or takes a deep breath. Your child may also have one or more of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Abdomen that feels hard
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever that usually begins after other signs and symptoms

How is appendicitis diagnosed?

  • Blood tests: Your child may need blood taken to show if he or she has an infection. The blood may be taken from their hand, arm, or IV.
  • Urine test: Your child may need a urine test to check for a urinary tract infection or kidney stone.
  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of the abdomen. Your child may be given dye in his or her IV before the pictures are taken. The dye will help your child’s provider see the pictures better. People who are allergic to iodine or shellfish (crab, lobster, or shrimp) may be allergic to some dyes.
  • Abdominal ultrasound: This test is done so caregivers can see the tissues and organs of your child’s abdomen. Gel will be put on the abdomen and a small sensor will be moved across the abdomen. The sensor uses sound waves to send pictures of the abdomen to a TV- like screen.

How is appendicitis treated?

  • Medicines:
    • Pain medicine: Your child may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before he or she takes the pain medicine.
    • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
    • Appendectomy: This is surgery to remove the appendix. During a laparoscopic appendectomy, small incisions are made in the abdomen. A small scope and special tools are inserted through these incisions. A scope is a tube with a light and camera on the end. If the appendix has burst, your child may need an open appendectomy. This is when a single, larger incision is made to remove the appendix and clean out the abdomen.

What are the risks of appendicitis?

The appendix may burst. This can cause infected fluid to spread into the abdomen. If this happens, your child may have a high fever and severe pain. The infection can spread to the organs or blood. This can be life-threatening. Ask your caregiver for more information about the risks of appendicitis.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has abdominal pain that does not go away, even after taking medicine.
  • Your child has chills, a cough, or feels weak and achy.
  • Your child has trouble having a bowel movement or has diarrhea.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child’s condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care?

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child has severe pain in his or her abdomen.
  • Your child is vomiting and cannot keep food down.
Hernia (Inguinal)
Hernia (Umbiliical in Children)
Lymph Node Biopsy
Orchiopexy for Undescended Testicle
Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy
Wrist Fracture in Children
ORIF of a Wrist Fracture



The Richland Hospital & Clinics are  committed to offering the highest level of care that's closer to home. Our dedicated medical teams utilize state-of-the-art technology and receive special training to provide expert care to the communities we serve.

We serve a vast area in and around Iowa, Sauk and Richland counties.