Appendicitis- overview

Appendicitis is the most common abdominal surgical emergency. This condition commonly occurs in people between 10 and 30 years, but its appearance is possible at any age. Acute appendicitis is a disease in which inflammation of the appendix appears.
Once started, the inflammatory process cannot be stopped with medication; treatment of this condition is surgical.


In case that surgery is delayed, the disease may be complicated: the catarrhal stage (early), the state phlegmon, later gangrenous (necrosis organ), with perforation and peritonitis initially localized and then generalized, and can cause the patient’s death.

Appendicitis is a vermiform tubular structure attached to the first portion of the large intestine (colon), named port check. It also can have atypical position (subhepatic, pelvic, etc.). The abdominal wall, it is projected on the right side in the lower abdomen, a region called the right iliac fossa.

The structure is lymphocytic (lymphatic tissue abundant hollow body), but its function is not well known, it is considered primarily a remnant of the embryo. Removment by appendectomy (appendicitis operation by which it is extracted when it is inflamed) does not alter digestive function.

Specific tests for acute appendicitis are:

– Leukocytosis, moderate – increase in blood leukocytes (white blood cells). More changes may be seen in cases with vomiting and dehydration

– Urinalysis – laboratory examination is a common differential diagnosis for a urinary tract disorder

– pregnancy test for young women who have this symptom.

Imaging examinations are usually:

– Abdominal radiography or contrast material (barium enema radiography or gastro duodenal)

– Abdominal ultrasound

– CT.

Complications in the disease include appendiceal perforation with abscess, subsequently generalized and localized peritonitis. The evolution of this complication in children is faster. This is an extremely serious complication of the disease and can lead to death in a short time without emergency surgery.

Early postoperative complications include parietal suppuration (frequent complication in complicated cases), residual abscess (appears after generalized peritonitis is a serious complication and requires re-intervention), headache often associated with nausea and vomiting, etc..

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