An Overview of Appendicitis

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a 3.5 long tube of tissue that extends from the large intestine. There is no real use for the appendix. Humans can live without it. An inflamed appendix, if left untreated, can burst or perforate. When this happens, there will be infections materials into the abdominal cavity. If this is to happen, this can lead to peritonitis. Peritonitis is a inflammation of the abdominal cavity that is in urgent need of antibiotics.

This is a fairly common disease. One in fifteen people will get appendicitis. This can affect at any age group, but rare in those under the age of 2 and most common between the ages of 10 to 30. Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes obstructed, often by a foreign body, cancer, or stool. Blockage may also occur from infection, since the appendix swells in the response of an infection.

There are a variety of symptoms of appendicitis. Those with appendicitis would experience a dull pain near the navel or upper abdomen. This is usually the primary sign that you may be having appendicitis. You may also experience a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, swelling, a fever, and the inability to pass gas. Other symptoms would include a dull or sharp pain in the upper or lower abdomen, back, or rectum, painful urination, cramps, constipation, or diarrhea. It is vital to seek medical attention because it is important to get an early diagnosis and treatment.

It is important not to eat, drink, or use pain remedies, antacids, laxatives, or heating pads. These actions would case the inflamed appendix to possibly rupture.

It is tricky to diagnose appendicitis because the symptoms are so vague or similar to other medical conditions such as gallbladder problems, bladder or urinary tract infections, Crohn’s disease, gastritis, intestinal infection, and ovary problems.

To see if you have appendicitis, there are a variety of tests to diagnose this such as an abdominal exam, urine test, rectal exam, blood tests, and CT scans and ultrasounds.

Surgery is necessary to remove the inflamed appendix. This surgery is called an appendectomy. If you test positive for appendicitis, doctors will quickly remove the appendix to avoid a rupture. Antibiotics are usually given before an appendectomy to fight possible peritonitis. After that, general anesthesia is given to put the patient to sleep. If the appendix is to be removed then there will be a four inch incision or by laparoscopy. If you have peritonitis, the abdomen is to be irrigated and drained of the pus. After the surgery, you can get up and move after 12 hours. Usually patients can return to daily activities without two to three weeks. After an appendectomy, if you experienced uncontrolled vomiting, increased abdomen pain, dizziness, faintness, blood in the vomit or urine, inflammation of the incision, givers of pus in the incision, then it is important to notify your doctor as soon as possible.

There is not way to reduce the chances of getting appendicitis. However, there have been cases where those who eat meals that are high in fiber, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, are less likely to get appendicitis.

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