Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix and it can be acute or chronic. It generally occur between the ages of 10 and 30, and more commonly in men. It is a medical emergency and require immediate removal of appendix. If it is left in the body, it can eventually burst, or perforate, spilling infectious materials into the abdominal cavity (peritonitis).
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There is no absolutely certain function of the appendix in our body, so it can be surgically removed, without apparent consequences.
What Causes Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is caused due to a blockage (complete or partial) and eventually infection in the lining of the appendix. Blockage can occur due to the following reasons:
- Foreign body
- Enlarged lymphoid follicles
The obstruction causes rapid multiplying of the bacteria leading to swelling and pus formation inside the organ.
What Are the Symptoms of Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is a serious medical emergency in which patient complains of severe pain in the lower right abdomen that started from navel and keeps on worsening with following symptoms:
- Pain that worsens on coughing or walking
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Low-grade fever
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal swelling
- Painful urination
How Is Appendicitis Diagnosed?
Doctor will take a history of patient’s signs and symptoms followed by thorough abdominal examination. In addition to this certain tests are done to confirm the diagnosis:
- Blood test to check a high white blood cell count, which may indicate an infection.
- Urine test to rule out a urinary tract infection or a kidney stone.
- Imaging tests like an abdominal X-ray, an abdominal ultrasound or a computerized tomography (CT) scan to confirm appendicitis.
How Is Appendicitis Treated?
In very rare cases, appendicitis may get better with only antibiotics and liquid diet, without surgery. But in most of the cases, surgery to remove the appendixis required. Surgery to remove the appendix is called an appendectomy.
Appendectomy can be done as open surgery or as laparoscopic appendectomy.
Advantages of Laparoscopic Appendectomy performed at Vikramsclinic
- Laparoscopy is less invasive
- Recovery time is shorter
- Almost no scar
- Less chances of infection
However, open surgery may be necessary in case of an abscess or peritonitis.