What Is Acute Appendicitis? BTS' Jimin Has Surgery, Tests Positive for COVID

A member of the South Korean boy band BTS has undergone surgery for acute appendicitis. The singer and dancer Jimin also tested positive for COVID, his management agency revealed on Monday in a post on fan website Weverse.

On Sunday, the 26-year-old BTS member, whose real name is Park Ji-min, experienced what BigHit Music described as "sudden abdominal pain along with a mild sore throat." Ji-min visited an emergency room, where he was diagnosed with the two conditions.

Ji-min underwent surgery on Monday, with his management agency saying that the procedure was successful.

The Mayo Clinic describes appendicitis as the inflammation of the appendix, a finger-shaped "pouch" that extends out from the colon on the lower right side of the abdomen.

The first signs of appendicitis are usually pain in the lower right abdomen or pain around the navel that migrates to the lower right. The site of this pain can vary depending on the sufferer's age and the position of their appendix. For instance, pregnant women suffering inflammation of the appendix may experience pain in the upper abdomen as the organ moves higher during pregnancy.

This pain intensifies as the inflammation of the appendix worsens, and eventually becomes severe, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) adds that other symptoms of appendicitis include lack of appetite, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.

The cause of appendicitis is a blockage in the lining of the appendix, which results in an infection. Bacteria in the blockage multiply rapidly, causing the appendix to swell and become inflamed as it fills with pus.

The Mayo Clinic says that this can result in serious complications, especially if the inflamed appendix ruptures. Such a rupture allows the infection to spread through the abdomen of the sufferer. This can be life-threatening and requires surgery to remove the appendix and clean the abdominal cavity.

A burst appendix could also cause an abscess to form, which necessitates drainage by a tube pushed through the abdominal wall. This process takes around two weeks during which the patient is treated with antibiotics.

Antibiotics and Surgery

NIDDK says that the main treatments for appendicitis are antibiotics and surgery to remove the appendix. Performing the surgery promptly reduces the risk of rupture and the serious complications listed above.

Though appendicitis can occur in anyone, with between five and nine people in 100 developing the condition, it's more common in men. The condition can affect people of any age, but those most commonly affected are people in their teens and 20s.

NCBI says that appendicitis is responsible for 300,000 hospital admissions a year in the United States alone.

According to BigHit Music, Ji-min will remain in the hospital for the next few days receiving both post-operative care and treatment for COVID.

BTS Jimin
Jimin of South Korean pop group BTS at t Rockefeller Plaza, New York City on February 21, 2020. The singer and dancer has undergone surgery for acute appendicitis. Dia Dipasupil/GETTY