Appendicitis

Background 

Appendix is a small finger shaped pouch shaped organ  on the right side of the  abdomen connected to the large intestine(cecal part of colon). Appendicitis happen when your appendix becomes inflamed. It’s considered as surgical emergency and is dealt accordingly. Appendicitis can occur in any age group but most commonly happens in younger population. 

Signs & Symptoms of Appendicitis

  • Pain in right lower abdomen beginning around umbilical region 
  • Nausea and  vomiting associated with abdominal pain
  • Low to moderate grade fever 
  • Abdominal discomfort and bloating sensation 
  • Abdominal swelling due to gaseous distension
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Constipation or diarrhoea 

Appendicitis pain may start off as mild cramping and gradually becomes more severe and steady over time. If you feel constipated during acute attack avoid taking laxatives as it may cause rupture of the appendix.

Cause of appendicitis 

In many cases exact cause of appendicitis is unknown. It is believed to develop when part of your appendix gets blocked often fecal matter  or a foreign body. Blockage may also result from infection which subsequently lead to swelling of appendix. This can further lead to formation of pus can cause burst of appendix. 

Diagnosis of Appendicitis

It is advisable to visit your clinician immediately after you. Price these symptoms . The clinician will do the physical examination and ask queries related to symptoms. Appendicitis is a clinician diagnosis and investigations are done for confirmation 

Investigations done to confirm the condition. 

  • Routine blood investigations 
  • Ultrasonography of the abdomen is down routinely to confirm the diagnosis 
  • Contrast enhanced computerised tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen remains investigation of choice to confirm the diagnosis as well as to rule out any other abdominal cause of pain such as ureteric stones. Ovarian cysts, mesenteric adenitis  and ectopic pregnancy. 

Treatment for Appendicitis

After confirmation of the diagnosis, the treatment of choice remains surgery. The surgery involves removal of the appendix (laparoscopic appendectomy) which is commonly done by laparoscopic surgery. The complications of appendicitis like ruptured appendicitis and appendicular abscess are also well managed by minimal access surgery. The conventional open surgery remains an option. 

The recovery after the surgery is very rapid and patients usually requires hospital stay for 1-2 days. Patient can resume there activities as they start contactable on medications. 

Consult your doctor if you experience the below symptoms after your surgery.

  • Vomiting
  • Increased belly pain
  • Fever
  • Pus in the wound

There is no sure way to prevent appendicitis but you might be able to lower your risk by eating a fibre rich diet to avoid constipation.

To consult with best team of general and minimal access surgeons available at The Surgeons House (SHL) in different global locations, please click this link for more details. 

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