Appendicitis is the condition in which appendix becomes infected or inflamed. An appendix is a pouch-like structure in the lower right side of the belly.
Fact 1: Lower right belly pain is the hallmark symptom
The primary symptom of appendicitis is belly pain which starts near the belly button and spreads to the lower right side. The pain usually occurs suddenly, progresses rapidly and gets worse when you move, take a deep breath or while coughing. There are other symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, inability to pass gas. You must see the doctor if you see the symptoms as appendicitis is an emergency surgery.
Fact 2: An inflamed appendix can rupture
Immediate surgery is the normal treatment for appendicitis because of the increased risk of rupture. An inflamed appendix can rupture within 48 to 72 hours after the symptoms start showing. When this situation comes, the infection can spread throughout the belly and cause a life-threatening condition. An appendectomy will treat this.
Fact 3: A burst appendix increases your risk of infection
In a lot of cases, people do not realize that they have appendicitis until their appendix bursts. This is a common problem in very young or very old people. If the appendix ruptures, fecal matters enter the abdomen which is a medical emergency and needs immediate attention. The ruptured appendix can cause inflammation of the abdominal wall. It is very common during pregnancy too. If the appendix ruptures, you are at risk of developing a high infection. This makes you ill very quickly. Cleaning out the infection and removing the appendix is very important.
Fact 4: You don’t need your appendix
The role of the appendix is not entirely known until now. It may help the body in fighting infection, but it is not a necessary organ. The organs do play this role of protecting the body from infection after appendectomy. So you have the same level of immunity as you did when you had an appendix. Once you recover from the surgery, you will be able to carry out all the activities and lead a normal life again.
Fact 5: Appendicitis has risks that you can manage
Removal of the appendix can be a life-saving procedure but there are risks. The general risk of any surgery includes reaction to anesthesia, blood clots, and infection. Potential risks of appendicitis surgery include bowel obstruction, organ damage, intestinal leakage or pneumonia. Seek for immediate medical help if you get belly pain, fever, chills or rectal bleeding. But these can be managed if you contact the doctor well on time.
Fact 6: Most appendicitis surgeries are minimally invasive
Today, as technology is getting advanced, most appendectomies are laparoscopic procedures. This means that the surgeon makes small incisions and a thin telescope-like instrument called laparoscope is used. This is a painless surgery with shorter recovery time as compared to open surgery. Open surgery may be important required in case if the appendix has burst and infection has spread throughout the belly. The doctor is the right person to advise you about the correct treatment.
Some common signs and symptoms of appendicitis are often mild pain around the belly button which might feel like a stomach ache. But with appendicitis, it usually gets worse and moves to the lower right side of the belly. Low-grade fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are some of the symptoms of appendicitis.
Appendicitis happens when the appendix gets blocked, too much bacteria can grow and cause an infection. Some of the things that block appendix are:
- Hard stool
- Swollen lymph nodes in the intestines
- Parasites and infections
The symptoms of appendicitis may be mistaken by kidney stones, pneumonia or urinary tract infection. Therefore, to find out if the person has appendicitis, the doctor examines the belly for pain and tenderness. The doctor asks the patient to get:
- blood test: to rule out infections by observing blood counts
- urine test: to track urinary infection
- X-ray of the abdomen and chest: to rule out lower lobe pneumonia and
- Ultrasound: to see how complicated is the problem
After looking at the reports, the doctor suggests the treatment. The treatment options vary with the severity of the appendicitis condition.
During pregnancy, many appendicitis symptoms are similar to that of the discomfort which includes cramping, nausea, and vomiting. The growing uterus pushes the appendix higher in pregnancy which results in pain in the upper abdomen instead of lower. Pregnant women are more likely to experience symptoms such as heartburn, gas, diarrhea or constipation.
Severe abdominal pain requires immediate medical attention, so make an appointment with Pristyn Care specialist if you notice any such signs to get a seamless and hassle-free patient experience. Through the experienced team of medical professionals and network of hospitals, Pristyn care provides quality and cost-effective healthcare to everyone.