Diseases and Disorders

What’s Appendicitis Symptoms

Last updated on January 27th, 2023 at 08:56 pm

Appendicitis is a type of inflammation of the appendix, which is a small pouch-like structure that sits at the beginning of the large intestine. The appendix can become infected if it becomes blocked by stool or other tissues. This can cause severe abdominal pain and tenderness. People with appendicitis usually need surgery to remove their appendix, which will reduce their symptoms and lower the risk.

How do you check if you have appendicitis?

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a finger-shaped pouch that projects from your colon on the lower right side of your abdomen. The appendix doesn’t seem to have a specific purpose. Appendicitis causes pain in the lower right abdomen. However, in most people, pain begins around the navel and then moves. As inflammation worsens, appendicitis pain typically increases and eventually becomes severe. Although anyone can develop appendicitis, most often it occurs in people between the ages of 10 and 30. Standard treatment is surgical removal of the appendix.

What are the early signs of appendicitis?

If you have appendicitis, you may also have other symptoms, including:

  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • being sick
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • a high temperature and a flushed face
Can appendicitis go away on its own?

Under an antibiotic treatment of an appendicitis patient, a surgical removal of the appendix, say appendectomy, is the primary procedure to cure appendicitis. However, it is said that an antibiotic treatment of computed tomography (CT) is proven, which seems effective as the traditional surgical method termed as appendectomy. Let’s dig it more to know whether the appendectomy or surgical method is required or just antibiotic treatment along with tomography can work too. If it can work or in case where surgical treatment can be avoided, would it be safe?

What is an Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is a medical condition where the appendix in the human body becomes inflamed. The appendix is a tube in our body with a length of 3 ½ inches long which elongates from the large intestine. Appendicitis is a medical emergency condition where the appendix has to be removed or eliminated from the body to cure the patient. If not removed or in case, left untreated, it can perforate, spill infectious liquid or even burst, leading to severe inflammation in the abdominal cavity. Until it is treated with antibiotics or the appendix gets removed, the inflammation can lead to further damage to the abdominal cavity continues.

How do I know if it’s gas or appendicitis?
  • Sudden pain that begins on the right side of the lower abdomen. Sudden pain that begins around your navel and often shifts to your lower right abdomen.
  • Pain that worsens if you cough, walk or make other jarring movements
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever that may worsen as the illness progresses
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Abdominal bloating
What triggers appendicitis?

A blockage in the appendix’s lining that results in infection is the likely cause of appendicitis. The bacteria multiply rapidly, causing the appendix to become inflamed and filled with pus. If not treated promptly, the appendix can rupture.

How long can appendicitis last?

Complications appendicitis can cause serious complications, such as

  • A ruptured appendix. A rupture spreads infection throughout your abdomen (peritonitis). Possibly life-threatening, this condition requires immediate surgery to remove the appendix and clean your abdominal cavity.
  • A pocket of pus that forms in the abdomen. If your appendix bursts, you may develop a pocket of infection (abscess). In most cases, a surgeon drains the abscess by placing a tube through your abdominal wall into the abscess. The tube is left in place for two weeks, and you are given antibiotics to clear the infection. Once the infection is clear, you’ll have surgery to remove the appendix. Sometimes, the abscess is drained, and the appendix is removed immediately.
Diagnosis of Appendicitis

To help diagnose appendicitis, your doctor will probably take a history of your signs and symptoms and examine your abdomen. Tests and procedures used to diagnose appendicitis include;

  • A physical exam to assess your pain. Your doctor may apply gentle pressure to the painful area. When the pressure is suddenly released, appendicitis pain will often feel worse, signaling that the adjacent peritoneum is inflamed. Your doctor also may look for abdominal rigidity and a tendency for you to stiffen your abdominal muscles in response to pressure over the inflamed appendix (guarding).
  • Blood test. This allows your doctor to check for a high white blood cell count, which may show an infection.
  • Urine test. Your doctor may want you to have a urinalysis to make sure that a urinary tract infection or a kidney stone isn’t causing your pain.
  • Imaging tests. Your doctor may also recommend an abdominal X-ray, an abdominal ultrasound or a computerized tomography (CT) scan to help confirm appendicitis or find other causes for your pain.
Treatment for Appendicitis

Treatment usually involves surgery to remove the inflamed appendix. Before surgery, you may be given a dose of antibiotics to prevent infection. Surgery to remove the appendix (appendectomy) Appendectomy can be performed as open surgery using one abdominal incision about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimetres) long (laparotomy).

What is Laparoscopic Appendix Removal Surgery?

This is a type of surgery to remove the appendix. Removal of the appendix cures appendicitis. If appendicitis is untreated, it may rupture or burst open and cause very serious illness or even death.

What is the Appendectomy?

Appendectomy is a common surgery, and many people have had their appendix removed. One way to remove the appendix is by making one larger cut, or incision, below and to the right of your belly button. This is referred to as an open appendectomy. Laparoscopic appendectomy removes the appendix using small incisions and will be described below.

Why Appendicitis Surgery Advised?

Appendectomy is the most effective medical procedure to treat acute appendicitis, however, antibiotic treatment with a tomography has proven. It is also observed that most of the patients didn’t need any surgery or appendectomy after their follow up to nearly one year. Even it is seen often that patients who had gone through the surgery didn’t have actually any such complications. But does that mean, such a patient does not need medical surgery or does it prove that an appendectomy isn’t just required to remove appendix or cure appendicitis? The answer is no! 

This is because when these two kinds of treatment and their respective results are compared in the non-inferiority trials to expect, the effect of new treatment is not worse than the prevailing one. As the outcome of this comparison, medical investigators learned that other than medical surgery, the antibiotic treatment doesn’t meet the expected marginal criteria in non-inferiority trials.

However, there is a bit of relief to say that investigators found out 72.7% of total patients getting recovered from the acute non-complex appendicitis are undergoing antibiotic treatment. Complicated acute appendicitis is mostly not cured by the antibiotic treatment. Another important observational difference between these two types of treatment is the reduced stay of surgical patients in hospital than antibiotic treatment patients.

Antibiotic treatment can be really be the exact cure for some patients, however, surgery gives more assurance. Therefore, it completely depends on the patient’s scale of appendicitis, its complexity and professional guideline of doctors or surgeons for sure.

What is Laparoscopic Appendectomy?

Laparoscopic Appendectomy surgery can be done through a few small abdominal incisions. During a laparoscopic appendectomy, the surgeon inserts special surgical tools and a video camera into your abdomen to remove your appendix. Laparoscopic surgery allows you to recover faster and heal with less pain and scarring. It may be better for people who are elderly or obese. But laparoscopic surgery isn’t appropriate for everyone. If your appendix has ruptured and infection has spread beyond the appendix or you have an abscess, you may need an open appendectomy, which allows your surgeon to clean the abdominal cavity.

Advantages of Laparoscopic Appendectomy

The results may vary depending on the type of surgery and your general health. But the most common advantages of laparoscopic surgery are;

  • Less pain after surgery
  • A shorter time in the hospital
  • Getting back to normal activity faster
  • Having normal bowel movements sooner
  • A smaller scar
Potential Complications of Laparoscopic Appendectomy

Complications of laparoscopic appendectomy do not happen often. They can include bleeding, infection in the surgery area, hernias, blood clots, and heart problems. A hernia is a hole that allows a small amount of your gut (intestine) or other tissue to bulge through the muscles that cover it. You should also know that any surgery has the risk of hurting other body parts. This is not likely, but it is possible. Appendix surgery could hurt nearby areas such as the bladder, large intestine (colon), or small intestine. You might need another surgery if this happens.

There is a slight risk of an abscess (collection of pus/bacteria) following surgery if the inflammation of the appendix is severe at the time of surgery. This may require further treatment. Most complications from appendectomy are rare, which means they almost never happen. If you are concerned about any potential complications, ask your surgeon.

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