Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix. It is a small, thin tube attached to the first part of the large intestine, sits at the junction of the lower right abdomen, between the small and the large intestine. Physiologically, the appendix serves no known function. Others theorize that it is a useless, left-over remnant of our evolution. Usually, the appendix gains attention only when there is something wrong with it, such as inflammation.
Appendicitis can occur at any age and is more common in teenagers and adults at their age 30s. As per the medical records, more than 20-250,000 cases of Appendicitis are seen in the United States every year.
Causes of Appendicitis
There are several causes of Appendicitis, and in some cases, the actual cause is not clear. As per the symptoms, the possible causes of includes:
- Abdominal Trauma
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Gastrointestinal infections (GI)
- Blockage of the opening inside the appendix
- Enlargement of the tissue in the wall of the appendix
- Clog in the appendiceal lumen, caused by the growth of parasites.
A person who has an appendicitis infection experiences the following symptoms such as:
- Dull pain near the navel
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Difficulty during flatulence (passing of gas)
Surgery is the best course of action. A traditional technique or a laparoscopy is used to remove tumours of the appendix. Before the surgery or once after the diagnosis, patients are treated with the antibiotics to protect against the potential infections.
Appendicitis is a medical emergency that requires immediate care. If left untreated, the appendix can swell and perforate, or bust open, spewing bacteria and other infectious agents over the abdominal cavity. In serious cases, appendicitis infection can lead to a condition known as Peritonitis, this is categorized as a very serious medical emergency and can turn fatal if not treated immediately.
Important Questions for You:
- What is the Appendix?
The appendix is a small organ, which is about four inches long. It is a thin tube-like structure found at the junction of the small and large intestine in the lower right abdomen.
- What are the causes of Appendicitis?
Appendicitis occurs when the appendix gets blocked, which results in the infections and inflammation of the inner lining of the appendix. This blockage is often caused by a hard piece of stool trapped in the appendix, improper bowel movement, invasions of pathogens, stomach infections, or cancer.
- Can appendicitis be treated without surgery?
Yes. In the case of mild appendicitis, patients are treated with the antibiotics and other medications are advised to reduce the symptoms, prevent infections and other chances of complications. Based on the reports patients undergo surgery to remove their inflamed appendix.
- How is Appendicitis Diagnosed?
There are several tests available to diagnose appendicitis. The tests may include:
- Physical examinations are carried by a physician to assess the pain in specific areas of your abdomen
- Blood tests to check the presence of infections and the fluid level and electrolyte imbalances.
- Urine tests to detect the presence of urinary tract infection or a kidney stone.
- Imaging tests, including MRI, CT, or ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis of appendicitis.
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