Appendicitis – Symptoms
Symptoms and common indicators of Appendicitis are –
- Sudden pain that starts around the navel and travels to the lower right section of the abdomen
- Sudden pain in the lower right section of the abdomen
- Constipation or Diarrhea or Flatulence
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Acute pain in the lower right section of the abdomen when you walk, cough, or any physical movement
- Loss of appetite
- Fever that may progress
It must be noted that the area of pain may vary with age and other factors. For instance, in pregnant women, the pain may be sited in the upper right section of the abdomen.
Appendicitis – Causes
The most likely cause of Appendicitis is blockage in the lining of the appendix, resulting in infection. As this infection progresses, it causes inflammation & swelling of the appendix.
In absence of right and timely treatment, the appendix can rupture.
Although there is no specific age group affected by an inflamed appendix, it commonly occurs among people between the age of 10-30 years.
Appendicitis – Diagnosis
When the patient experiences any of the warnings signs or symptoms, an appointment must be made with a doctor specialised in the field. In case of acute abdominal pain, the patient must be taken to a healthcare provider immediately.
- Physical Exam – The doctor will perform a physical examination by applying gentle pressure on your abdomen and the pain site and other measures that may be necessary.
- Urine Test – A urine test may be done to ensure the pain is not on account of Kidney Stone or a Urinary Tract Infection.
- Blood Test – A blood test may be done to check the white blood cell count.
Imaging Test – An ultrasound, X-ray, CT scan or MRI may be done to find the source of pain.
Appendicitis – Treatment
Appendicitis treatment typically involves removal of the appendix through surgery. However, the doctor may, if possible, try to contain the infection through antibiotics before performing the surgery.
Appendectomy, the appendix removal surgery, can be performed as an open surgery or a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, depending on the specifics of the case.
The minimally invasive appendicitis removal surgery can be performed through a small incision and ensures a quicker recovery. However, in the event of a ruptured appendix, an open surgery will need to be performed to allow cleansing of the abdominal cavity.
Also, if the appendix bursts and has resulted in abscess formation, a tube may be used before the surgery to drain out the abscess and bring the infection in control.
Appendicitis – Risks & Complications
If not treatment properly or on time, appendicitis can lead to some very severe complications, like –
- Rupture of the appendix, which can spread the infection throughout the abdomen. This calls for an immediate surgery for the removal of the appendix and cleansing of the abdominal cavity. Too late or not done right, and this can even prove fatal.
- If the appendix bursts, it can create a pocket of abscess. This abscess needs to be drained out with the help of a tube and antibiotics need to be administered.
Appendectomy or Appendix Removal Surgery is a safe procedure with low risks and complications. However, rare case complications include infection, or allergic reaction to the anesthesia.
In case of any warning signs of an infection, you must immediately get in touch with your doctor.
Appendicitis – Pre Op Care
Here are some of the things you will have to keep in mind before going in for an Appendectomy –
- Inform your doctor about all the medications and supplements you are taking
- Inform your doctor about any allergies you might have
- Inform your doctor if you have a history of any bleeding disorder
- Inform your doctor if you are or you suspect you might be pregnant
- Avoid eating and drinking for eight hours before the surgery
Appendicitis – Post Op Care
- Allow your body to heal by giving it proper rest and limiting strenuous physical activity
- Take your antibiotics regularly and as prescribed to prevent post surgery infection
- Take pain relieving medicines as required and prescribed by your doctor
- Keep your incision area clean to avoid infection
- Watch out for warning signs including swelling & redness around the incision, fever & chills, stomach cramps, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea or constipation for more than 2 consecutive days