Appendicitis is a condition in which the vestigial organ Appendix gets inflamed. The inflammation is caused by a blockage in the appendix. The blockage usually occurs in the result of proliferation of bacteria, parasitic organisms or most commonly the accumulation of body waste.
Symptoms of Appendicitis:
Appendicitis starts with abdominal pain. The pain may first be spread in the whole abdominal but gradually subsides to the lower right side of the abdomen. Other symptoms that occur with the pain are nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and fever that ranges between 99-102 degree Fahrenheit.
The appendicitis pain doesn’t subside with time as in other conditions such as gastroenteritis where an antacid can relieve the pain. If the right side lower abdomen pain keeps getting worse, there’s a chance that the appendix has burst. A burst appendix can cause a serious abdominal lining infection that can be life threatening if not treated timely.
In women, appendicitis pain can often be confused with a gynecological condition of ectopic pregnancy.
It can also mimic the symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease, Crohn’s disease or severe irritable bowel syndrome
The patient feels a strong urge of emptying the bowel to relieve the pain.
The only right thing to do in case of serious abdominal pain is to immediately see your doctor.
There are no clear causes of appendicitis. Certain things can kick start it though such as:
- The blockage of the opening of appendix
- Accumulation of microbial masses or fecal mass on the mouth of the appendix.
- A tissue growth in the wall of the appendix that results from a GI tract infection.
- An injury caused to the abdominal cavity.
The Time to seek medical attention:
In case of an abdominal pain that starts from the navel and goes down to the right side of the abdomen, see a doctor immediately. The appendicitis pain may not be cured by a regular pain killer and a pain that lasts more than 24 hours in any case needs medical assistance.
It takes 24-72 hours to get an appendicitis pain increase in its severity to the level where the appendix can burst, so go see your doctor before getting into a life-threatening situation.
The treatment of appendicitis is to remove the appendix from your body. There are two types of the procedure of appendectomy (removal of appendix). One is the manual appendectomy that involves a 2 to 4-inch incision made in the abdominal cavity by the surgeon to remove the inflamed organ.
The other one is laparoscopic appendectomy that uses small cameras to look inside the abdomen through very small incisions.
The second type of appendectomy is usually performed in case of a burst appendix so that the patient can be checked for having an abscess inside the abdomen.
If there’s an abscess, it is drained through a tube insertion in the abdominal cavity before performing appendectomy.
Antibiotics are administered before performing the surgery and an abdomen ultrasound is performed to ensure the inflammation of the appendix.