Everything You Need to Know About Appendicitis
Appendicitis occurs when the appendix, a finger-shaped pouch that sticks out from the colon, becomes inflamed. It can be acute or chronic. If left untreated, appendicitis can make your appendix burst. This can let bacteria spill into your abdominal cavity, which can be severe and sometimes fatal. The condition can be easily treated, if diagnosed on time. Here we learn about the condition’s symptoms, causes and more.
Common Symptoms Of Appendicitis
If you have appendicitis, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
• Pain in your upper abdomen or nearby your bellybutton
• Pain in the lower right bottom of your abdomen
• Loss of appetite
• Abdominal swelling
• Inability to pass gas
• Low-grade fever
In several cases, the specific cause of appendicitis is unknown. Experts assume it occurs when part of the appendix becomes blocked or obstructed.
Many things can potentially obstruct your appendix, including:
• A buildup of hard stool
• Swollen lymphoid follicles
• Intestinal worms
• Traumatic pain
Treatment Options For Appendicitis
Depending on your health, your doctor's recommended treatment strategy for appendicitis may incorporate one or more of the following:
• Surgery to remove your appendix
• Needle drainage or operation to drain an abscess
• Pain relievers
• IV fluids
• Liquid diet
Surgery For Appendicitis
To treat appendicitis, your surgeon may use a type of surgery identified as appendectomy. During this method, they will remove your appendix. If your appendix has ruptured, it will also wipe out your abdominal cavity.
In some instances, your doctor may use laparoscopy to conduct the minimally invasive operation. In other cases, they may have to use open surgery to eliminate your appendix.
Like any surgery, there are some risks linked with appendectomy. However, the uncertainties of appendectomy are less than the risks of untreated appendicitis.
Recovery Time For Appendicitis
Your recovery time for appendicitis will depend on various factors, including:
• Your overall health
• Whether or not you develop complexities from appendicitis or operation
• The particular type of treatments you receive
If you have laparoscopic surgery to remove your appendix, you may be discharged from the hospital a few hours after the completion of the surgery or the next day.
If you have open surgery, you will likely need to spend more time in the hospital to improve afterwards.
Potential Complications Of Appendicitis
Appendicitis can cause serious difficulties. For instance, it may create a pocket of pus known as an abscess to form in your appendix. This abscess may leak pus and bacteria into your abdominal hole.
Appendicitis can also lead to a burst appendix. If your appendix bursts, it can spill faecal matter and bacteria into your abdominal cavity.
If bacteria spill into your abdominal cavity, it can create the lining of your abdominal cavity to grow infected and inflamed. This is known as peritonitis, and it can be very severe, even fatal.
Bacterial infections can also harm other organs in the abdomen. For instance, bacteria from a ruptured abscess or appendix may penetrate your bladder or colon. It may also travel through your bloodstream to other portions of your body.
To limit or manage these difficulties, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, surgery, or other medications. In some instances, you might develop side effects or difficulties from therapy. However, the risks linked with antibiotics and operation tend to be less severe than the potential complexities of untreated appendicitis.
Dr Y Siva Kumar Reddy
Consultant – Surgical Gastroenterologist