Appendicitis

The condition known as appendicitis refers to the appendix being blocked. When the appendix is blocked it becomes inflamed and afterwards infected and begins to die from the lack of blood supply. The appendix is a narrow tubular pouch attached to the intestines.

After the loss of blood supply the appendix bursts.

There is no clear cause for the appendix to become blocked, but it is believed that fecal mater may be one of the things that cause this blockage. Afterwards bacteria, viruses, fungi can be responsible for the inflammation of the appendix which ultimately results in appendicitis. It is not a hereditary disease and its does not transmit from person to person.

Appendicitis is a common condition that affects about 6.7% to 8.6% of the population. It has no regard for age, but it is most common in teenagers and people in their twenties. Proper diagnosis is vital for the young and the elderly because their have a higher risk of complications. Appendicitis is the most common pediatric condition that requires surgery.

Appendicitis symptoms:

Some of the early symptoms of appendicitis are vague pain in the middle of the abdomen sometimes near the belly button (navel). Afterwards the pain slowly moves toward the lower right side of the abdomen. Common symptoms of abdominal pain occur such as nausea and vomiting, but only half of the people who actually have appendicitis have theses symptoms.  The common symptoms for appendicitis are:

  1. Varying degrees of loss of appetite, vomiting and abdominal pain.
  2. Symptoms similar to those of gastroenteritis, which is very commonly mistaken for appendicitis, with a misdiagnose occurring for appendicitis

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If there are acute pains in your middle lower right side or right lower side accompanied by fever and vomiting you should seek medical attention. If the symptoms persist for more than a few hours, a thorough examination is necessary at an emergency center.

Appendicitis can be diagnosed through lab work. This is done by checking the white blood cell count, which is usually elevated when appendicitis is present. Imaging tests, such as CT scans, are used to scan and determine the presence of the disease.

There is no home care for appendicitis. You must seek medical attention, and avoid eating or drinking as it may delay surgery. It is not indicated to take laxatives, antibiotics or pain medicines because this may cause a delay in the diagnosis procedure and make it more difficult.

The most common treatment for this illness is an appendectomy, which involves the removal of the inflamed appendix. The surgery is very minimal with a small incision being performed, and then the inflamed appendix is removed with guidance from a small camera. In some cases an open abdominal procedure is required. Because it is sometimes hard to diagnose, around 15% of appendectomies reveal a healthy appendix that did not require surgery. CT scanning has become very helpful in reducing the number of bad diagnostics.

After the appendectomy procedure the patient can gradually resume his usual diet. He cannot perform physical activity for 2-4 weeks though. The incision is inspected also within a week to check for possible infections.

There is no way to know when appendicitis will occur, or any way to prevent it from occurring. No risk factors are present to make one person more vulnerable to getting appendicitis.

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