The appendix refers to a small tube-shaped organ joined to the large intestine. It is a vestigial organ & it projects from your colon on the lower right side of your abdomen.
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix and is a serious problem which can cause immense pain in your lower right abdomen. Usually, pain starts around the McBurney’s Point.
There are two types of Appendicitis that you must know about.
1. Acute Appendicitis: It is a serious and abrupt case of Appendicitis. It’s most relevant in people between the age of 10 and 30. This condition develops more frequently in males than females.
Pain can increase rapidly over the course of 24 hours. If left untreated, it can cause your appendix to rupture. This can be quite fatal.
2. Chronic Appendicitis: This condition is rare in comparison to Acute Appendicitis. The symptoms are reasonably mild and usually occur after a case of Chronic Appendicitis.
This condition is difficult to diagnose. At times, it’s not even diagnosed until it is developed into Acute Appendicitis.
While anyone can develop appendicitis, it mostly occurs in people between the ages of 10 – 30.
Appendicitis occurs when a part of the appendix gets infected & inflamed. There are several factors that can aid in doing so.
1. Intestinal worms
3. The build-up of hardened stool
4. Traumatic injury
5. Enlarged lymphoid follicles
The symptoms of Appendicitis start to show up as trivial cramping in your upper abdomen and then shifts towards the lower right quadrant of your abdomen.
However, there are other symptoms as well that one may experience.
3. Appetite loss
5. Abdominal inflammation
6. Low-grade fever
Diagnosis of Appendicitis is usually done by performing several physical tests to examine the tenderness in the lower part of your abdomen.
Your healthcare provider may also discuss your symptoms and medical history.
1. Blood tests: Blood tests let your doctor calculate high white blood cell count, which may indicate infection.
2. Abdominal imaging tests: Your doctor can perform imaging tests; X – ray / USG / CT scan to check for swelling of your appendix. This can help to rule out the signs of inflammation, a blister, or any other concerns with your appendix. Abdominal imaging tests can also rule out the chances of Renal or Ureteric Calculi which can cause similar pain.
Appendicitis treatment mostly includes performing surgery to remove the swelled appendix. Before surgery, you might be provided with a dose of antibiotics to treat the infection.
Appendectomy refers to the surgery performed to treat appendicitis. In this, the doctor removes your appendix. And if your appendix has ruptured, the doctor will also clean your abdominal cavity.
If your appendix has ruptured and a blister has formed around it, the abscess needs to be drained out. It is usually done by inserting a tube through your skin into the abscess. After the infection have been controlled, then Appendectomy can be executed after a few weeks.
Appendectomy is performed through an abdominal incision (usually 2-4 inches long). Like any surgery, there are a few risks related to appendectomy. However, the risks associated are less severe than those of untreated appendicitis.
Or the surgery can be performed via 2-3 small abdominal incisions. This process is known as “Laparoscopy”.
2. Laparoscopy treatment of Appendicitis
Laparoscopic appendectomy (LA) is a surgical procedure to remove Appendicitis from inside the abdomen. It has fewer risks and deals with a minimally invasive procedure that requires only small incisions. The recovery time is also short.
In Laparoscopy, an instrument known as a Laparoscope is used to examine the appendix. A laparoscope refers to a long and thin tube combined with a high-intensity light and a high-resolution camera at the front.
A tube is used to insert carbon dioxide to puff up the abdomen to make more room to operate.
The doctor will then insert surgical instruments into the other incision(s). The surgeon will use the instruments to remove the appendix from the large intestine.
If your appendix has burst, the doctor will clean out the abdomen to prevent the spread of infection.
After the area is clean, the doctor will release air from the abdomen.
The laparoscopic mode of treatment is a safe and effective procedure. It offers clinically beneficial advantages over open method Appendectomy.
This might include shorter hospital stay, less need for postoperative analgesia, early food tolerance, easy return to work, less risks of wound infection, etc.
Without speedy medical attention, appendicitis can become fatal. A ruptured appendix causes extensive infection to have deadly consequences.
Hence, you must check out your doctor if you experience signs of appendicitis. With various tests, your doctor can rule out any other causes and provide a clear answer.
However, if appendicitis is diagnosed, then you might require to undertake surgery. A minimally invasive laparoscopic approach can be highly beneficial in removing the appendix and helping you recover faster.
Neotia Getwel Healthcare Centre offers advanced Laparoscopic Minimal Access treatment solutions backed by trained and experienced surgeons. Book your appointment here.
Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out. It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction