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What Is Appendictis ?

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Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. Once it starts, there is no effective medical therapy, so appendicitis is considered a medical emergency. When treated promptly, most patients recover without difficulty. If treatment is delayed the appendix can burst, causing infection and even death. Appendicitis is the most common acute surgical emergency of the abdomen.

What Is Appendix ?

The appendix is a small, tube-like structure attached to the first part of the large intestine, also called the colon. The appendix is located in the lower right portion of the abdomen, it has no known function. Removal of the appendix appears to cause no change in digestive function.

What Is The Cause Of Appendicitis ?

The cause of appendicitis relates to blockage of the inside of the appendix known as the lumen. The blockage leads to increased pressure impaired blood flow, and rupture (breaking or tearing) of the appendix can result.

Most commonly faeces blocks the inside of the appendix. Also bacterial or viral infections in the digestive tract can lead to swelling of lymph nodes, which squeeze the appendix and cause obstruction. Traumatic injury to the abdomen may lead to appendicitis in a small number of people. Genetics may be a factor in others. For example appendicitis that runs in families may result from a genetic variant that predisposes a person to appendix.

What Are The Symptoms ?

Symptoms of appendicitis may include pain in the abdomen first around the belly button, then moving to the lower right area, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting constipation or diarrhea, inability to pass gas, low fever that begins after other symptoms, abdominal swelling.

Not everyone with appendicitis has all the symptoms. The pain intensifies and worsens when moving taking deep breaths, coughing or sneezing. The area becomes very tender. Laxatives and pain medications should not be taken in this situation. Anyone with these symptoms needs to see a qualified surgeon immediately.

How Is The Diagnosis Of Acute Appendicitis Made ?

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Examination of the abdomen helps narrow the diagnosis Location of the pain and tenderness is important. Pain is a symptom described by a patient tenderness is the response to being touched. Two signs, called peritoneal signs. Suggest that the lining of the abdomen is inflamed and surgery may be needed rebound tenderness and guarding. These are valuable indicators of inflammation but not all patients have them. In addition a raised total blood count confirms the diagnosis. Appendicitis is the commonest abdominal emergency and requires immediate surgery.

What Is The Treatment For Appendicitis Surgery ?

Acute appendicitis is treated by surgery to remove the appendix. The operation may be performed through a standard small incision in the right lower part of the abdomen or it may be performed using a laparoscope which requires three to four smaller incisions. If other conditions are suspected in addition to appendicitis they may be identified using laparoscope. Laparoscopy is preferred to open surgery because the incision is smaller, recovery time is quicker and less pain medication is required.

Antibiotics And Other Treatment ?

If the diagnosis is uncertain people may be watched and sometimes treated with antibiotics. This approach is taken when the doctor suspects that the patient's symptoms may have it non surgical or medically treatable cause. If the cause of the pain is infectious, symptoms resolve with intravenous antibiotics and intravenous fluids. In general however appendicitis cannot be treated with antibiotics alone and will require surgery.

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