Lifestyle Health Carrie Ann Inaba Hospitalized for Appendectomy: 'Could Have Been Much Worse' The Dancing with the Stars alum urged fans, "If you have pain in your abdomen, please have it checked out because it could be something very serious" By Wendy Geller Published on March 30, 2023 08:35 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Getty Carrie Ann Inaba is giving thanks for her health after suffering an unexpected trip to the hospital last week. "I had an emergency appendectomy last week," the Dancing with the Stars judge, 55, revealed on Instagram Thursday, showing off a video of her hospital digs over a soundtrack of Meghan Trainor's "Me Too." "While it's been quite a painful experience, I also know it's a gift to even feel this pain. I realize after speaking with my doctor that it could have been much worse." Carrie Ann Inaba Discusses Living with Chronic Illness — 'Pain Is a Life Stealer' "Appendicitis attacks happen suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere," Inaba continued. "And when you are in that much pain, the last thing you want to do is go anywhere. And when you have autoimmune disease, you are often having strange health occurrences that no one can explain or help you with so sometimes, you try to wait it out, like I did." Inaba, who has several autoimmune conditions that have impacted her health over the last few years, stated: "I was wrong. I should have come straight to the hospital right when the pain in my abdomen started, after the sudden and violent vomiting that knocked me off my feet. I should have gone when I couldn't stand without excruciating pain… but I honestly didn't want to leave my babies, and I'm so accustomed to pain — thought I should let it play out." "If you have pain in your abdomen, please have it checked out because it could be something very serious," she added. Inaba also gave a shout-out to the team that took care of her at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai hospital. "If I needed to do it again, I would come back to you," she joked. "Thankfully, my appendix will not be bothering me anymore." Inaba has been vocal about her health struggles, acknowledging in 2021 on her online wellness platform, Carrie Ann Conversations, that it can feel isolating to deal with them. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. "Coping with autoimmune conditions can sometimes feel quite lonely," she said. "When I first got diagnosed, some encouraged me to keep my struggles to myself, but I've found that it's always been better to be honest about my needs and realities than to stay silent. I believe strongly in sharing my journey, my solutions, and the things that have helped me with anyone who could use it — this is how communities are formed."