Before learning about appendicitis, we need to know what the appendix is first. The appendix is a tube-like structure that is attached to a part of the large intestine. It is located where the small intestines and the large intestines connect. Although it has no known function, it is important to take care as it can get infected or inflamed.
This infection is called appendicitis. Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. Inflammation in the appendix is always a medical emergency and if not treated immediately, it could cause the appendix to burst which causes more infection as bacteria spread through the abdominal cavity because of the rupture or in some cases, even death. This causes pain in the lower right side of the abdomen and then eventually the pain grows to become more severe and intolerable hence the need for immediate treatment. This illness can occur at any age however, it is common in teenagers and those in their twenties.
What causes appendicitis?
There are various causes of appendicitis. There is something that triggers the swelling and irritation in the appendix and causes appendicitis.
The following are causes of appendicitis:
● An injury in the abdomen
● A blockage where the appendix connects to the intestines
● Digestive tract infection
Although it is not clear what exactly causes and brings on appendicitis, it is clear that a blockage in the lining of the appendix is what causes the infection to occur. Because of this, it can cause complications like:
● A ruptured appendix that would spread infecting the whole abdomen is called peritonitis. This condition would need immediate surgery which would need the appendix to be removed and the abdominal cavity to be cleaned.
● Pus in the abdomen would form if the appendix bursts. The pus is called an abscess. In this case, during surgery, the abscess would have to be removed with the help of a tube that is placed in the abdominal wall. The tube would be kept for 2 weeks and antibiotics would be given to clear the infection. After the infection is gone, the appendix is removed after draining out the abscess.
What are the symptoms of appendicitis and how is it diagnosed?
One of the most common symptoms of appendicitis is severe abdominal pain which is in the lower right side of your stomach. There are many more other symptoms which include:
● Severe abdominal pain when coughing, sneezing, breathing, walking, etc.
● Swelling in the stomach
● Constipation/ diarrhea
● Loss of appetite
● Nausea and vomiting
When you notice such symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor and get examined physically. Appendicitis diagnosis should be done as early as possible to avoid any complications which may occur due to it in the future. To get more surety of what the problem is, doctors may get blood tests done and also do imaging scans. There are also many other tests that doctors would perform. These tests would allow doctors to see if there are any signs of blockages, organ ruptures, or inflammation. Some of the tests that doctors perform before appendicitis diagnosis are:
● Physical examination by a doctor to assess the pain.
● Urine tests to ensure that you don’t have a urinary tract infection or a kidney stone,
● MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This is the use of radio waves and magnets to show a detailed picture of the organs in the abdomen.
● CT Scan or Computed Tomography scans. This shows the cross-sections of the body. It uses X-rays and computer technology to do this.
● Ultrasound of the abdomen uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the organs that one wants to see.
All this is done for diagnosis and then a decision is taken on the process for the appendicitis treatment. Appendix treatment is very important to avoid the pain from getting worse and to avoid any complications due to it in the future.
How is appendicitis treated?
Most people choose to get an appendectomy which is an appendix treatment/ appendicitis treatment which is sometimes called appendix surgery. In this appendix surgery, the appendix that is infected is removed and if it hasn’t ruptured then the surgery stops that and stops the infection from spreading.
Before the appendectomy, or sometimes called the appendix removal surgery, patients are given antibiotics to treat the infections, and then the surgery would occur. If it is a mild case then antibiotics can solve the problem but if the organ has ruptured, appendix removal surgery is the only option.
At The New Life Hospital Meera Multispeciality, we ensure our patients have no hard time in their diagnosis and treatment. We provide the best treatments, surgeries, and doctors at affordable prices that take into consideration everyone in society. We are always open to helping everyone without any sort of discrimination.