What is the definition of appendicitis?
The appendix is a tiny tube that connects the big and small intestines. It’s about the size of a finger. It has no known purpose, but if it becomes inflamed or infected (appendicitis), it must be treated right away.
An inflamed appendix can produce intermittent pain. It could also break open (rupture), causing excruciating agony. Bacteria can spread across the abdominal cavity if an appendix ruptures. Peritonitis is a dangerous, sometimes fatal infection caused by these bacteria. The appendix is located in the lower right abdomen (belly).
Who is at risk for appendicitis?
Appendicitis affects about 5% of the population in the United States. It’s the most common cause of stomach pain that necessitates surgery. Appendicitis can strike anyone at any age, but it is most frequent in adults in their twenties and thirties. Appendicitis can affect children as young as elementary school.
What causes appendicitis?
The cause of appendicitis is unknown. Inflammation (swelling and discomfort) or infection in your appendix is triggered by something. Among the possible causes are:
- Trauma or injury in the abdomen.
- The opening where the appendix joins to the intestines is blocked.
- Infection of the gastrointestinal system.
- Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition in which the intestines inflame
- Inside the appendix, there are growths.
What are some of the signs and symptoms of appendicitis?
Appendicitis is characterised by severe stomach discomfort in the lower right belly, which is where your appendix is located. Symptoms often appear out of nowhere and worsen with time. They are as follows:
- Coughing, sneezing, inhaling, or moving causes greater abdominal pain or tenderness.
- A bloated stomach.
- The inability to release gas.
- Appetite loss (not feeling hungry when you usually would).
- Fever of mild intensity (below 100 degrees F).
- Nausea and vomiting are common side effects.
How do you know if you have appendicitis?
You’ll be asked to describe your symptoms and undergo a physical examination. A blood test to check for infection may be ordered by your doctor. You may also be subjected to an imaging scan. Any of the following tests may reveal symptoms of obstruction, inflammation, or organ rupture:
- Cross-sections of the body are shown on computed tomography (CT) images. They make use of X-rays as well as computer technology.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates comprehensive images of the abdominal organs using radio waves and magnets.
- High-frequency sound waves are used in abdominal ultrasonography to produce images of organs.
What is the treatment for appendicitis?
The majority of persons who have appendicitis require an appendectomy. It is used to remove an appendix that has become infected. Surgery prevents the rupture of the appendix and the spread of infection if it hasn’t already ruptured. Antibiotics are given intravenously (IV) before surgery to prevent infection. Antibiotics alone can help some cases of mild appendicitis. Your doctor will keep a close eye on you to see if surgery is required. When the appendix ruptures, surgery is the only option to cure the abdominal infection. Most appendectomies are performed laparoscopically if surgery is required. Laparoscopic treatments are performed through small incisions using a scope. This minimally invasive procedure allows you to recuperate more quickly and with less pain. If your appendix ruptures, you may need significant abdominal surgery (laparotomy).