Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, which is a swollen finger-shaped sac in the lower-right cavity of your abdomen.
Appendicitis causes pain in your lower right abdomen. However, in most people, the pain begins around the navel and then displaces.
Although appendicitis can be seen in people of any age group, it is usually more common in individuals between the ages of 10 and 30. The general treatment in this case is the surgical removal of the appendix.
Signs and symptoms of appendicitis may include:
Sudden pain in the lower abdomen
Pain starting around the navel and descending to the lower right part of the abdomen
Pain that worsens when coughing, walking, or doing other strenuous movements
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of appetite
low-grade fever that may worsen as the disease progresses
constipation or diarrhea
The location of your pain may vary depending on your age and strain. When you are pregnant, the pain may seem to come from your upper abdomen because you are more likely to have strain during pregnancy.
Causes of appendicitis
A blockage around the appendix that can cause infection is a possible cause of appendicitis. Bacteria multiply rapidly, causing the appendix to become inflamed, swollen and filled with pus. The attachment may burst if not treated promptly.
How to Diagnose Appendicitis
To diagnose appendicitis, your doctor will likely ask about your history of your signs and symptoms and examine your abdomen.
Methods and tests used to diagnose appendicitis usually include:
Physical examination to assess your pain. Your doctor may apply gentle pressure to the painful area. The pain of appendicitis will usually be felt more when the pressure is suddenly released, indicating inflammation of the adjacent peritoneum.
Your doctor may perform a finger exam (digital rectal exam) to examine your lower rectum. Women of childbearing age may have a pelvic exam to check for possible gynecological problems that may be causing the pain.
Blood test. This test allows your doctor to check for a high white blood cell count, which could indicate a possible infection.
Urine test. Your doctor may want you to have a urinalysis to make sure your pain is not caused by a urinary tract infection or kidney stone.
Imaging tests. Your doctor may also recommend an abdominal X-ray, abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm appendicitis or to see if there are other causes of your pain.
Treatment for appendicitis usually requires surgery to remove the inflamed appendix. Before the surgery, your doctor will start antibiotic treatment at the dose he deems appropriate to prevent infection.
An appendectomy can be done as open surgery using an abdominal incision about 5 to 10 centimeters long (laparotomy). Or, the operation is performed with a method called laparoscopic surgery by making a few small incisions from the abdominal sac.
During a laparoscopic appendectomy, the surgeon inserts special surgical instruments and a video camera into your abdomen to remove your appendix.
Overall, laparoscopic surgery allows you to heal faster with less pain and scarring. It can be especially preferred for older adults and people with obesity.
However, laparoscopic surgery is not suitable for everyone. If your appendix has ruptured and the infection has spread beyond the appendix or there is an abscess, an open appendectomy may be needed, which helps your surgeon clear the abdominal cavity.
You can expect to stay in the hospital for a day or two after appendectomy.
Abscess evacuation before additional surgery
If your appendix has burst and an abscess has formed around it, the abscess can be drained by inserting a tube through your skin into the abscess. An appendectomy can be done a few weeks after the infection is controlled.
What Should Those Who Have Appendicitis Surgery Pay Attention To?
Avoid strenuous activities.
If your appendectomy was done laparoscopically, limit your movements for a few days. Always ask your doctor about your activity limitations and when you can resume normal activities after surgery.
Support your stomach when you cough.
Try to reduce the pain by placing something soft on your stomach. So apply pressure before coughing, laughing, or moving.
If your painkillers are not enough, share the situation with your doctor!.
Suffering puts extra stress on your body and slows down the healing process. If you have pain problems with your painkillers, be sure to inform your doctor about this.
Act when you’re ready.
Start slowly and increase your activities as you feel better. Start with short walks.
As your body heals, you may find that you feel more sleepy than usual. Keep calm and rest when you need it.
Talk to your doctor before returning to work or school.
You can go back to work when what you hear confirms. Children can return to school one week after surgery. They should wait two to four weeks to resume strenuous activities such as the gym or sports.