Kelly Clarkson truly is “Stronger” — she managed to host the Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday while suffering from appendicitis, and underwent surgery to remove her appendix just a few hours later.
The singer said she had “broken down in tears after the show from pain,” but is now saying “bye bye appendix” after her surgery.
Though most people don’t perform a live show with appendicitis, it is an extremely common condition, affecting 1 in 1,000 Americans each year, says Dr. Travis Stork, an ER physician, host of The Doctors and a member of PEOPLE’s Health Squad.
It typically happens when a blockage of the appendix leads to an infection.
“As bacteria grows, the appendix becomes inflamed and swollen,” Stork says. “Some symptoms to look out for include sharp pain on the right side of the lower abdomen and sudden pain that begins around your navel and then shifts to your lower right abdomen, that gets worse if you make sharp movements like coughing or walking. Also look out for nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, low-grade fever and abdominal bloating.”
Head to the doctor if you think something is wrong, and they can determine if surgery is necessary.
“Surgical removal of the appendix is the traditional standard procedure because once it is infected the appendix may rupture, spreading infection throughout your abdominal cavity and becoming life-threatening,” Stork says.
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SOURCE: People, Julie Mazziotta