Appendix: symptoms,causes,diagnosis,treatment and prevention
It is a very small abdominal organ . Exact site of it is , it is in right lower abdominal space and internally it is a very small extension of large intestine. Previously we assume that appendix
does not have any function , but now a days research shows that it contains large amount of natural intestinal bacterial floora, which helps in digestion.
Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. It may be acute or chronic.
The appendicitis is the most common cause of abdominal pain resulting in surgery.
Appendicitis can occur at any time, but it occurs most often between the ages of 10 and 30. It’s more common in men than in women.
Complications from appendicitis can be serious and even fatal.
Causes of appendicitis :-
The cause for appendicitis is unknown.
obstruction in the appendix is one of the cause –
– Obstruction may be either partial or complete.
– Complete obstruction is a cause for emergency surgery.
Obstruction is often due to an accumulation of fecal matter (stool ). It can also be the result of:
• enlarged lymphoid follicles
Whenever there is an obstruction in appendix , it causes multiplication of bacteria inside the organ. Which further causes formation of pus.
The increased pressure due to obstruction can be painful. It can also compress local blood vessels. Cut off of blood flow to the appendix may cause gangrene.
If the appendix ruptures, fecal matter can spread all over the abdomen and causes peritonitis .This is a medical emergency.
Peritonitis , an inflammation of the tissue that lines the abdominal wall, is one possible consequence of a ruptured appendix.
If the infected appendix leaks instead of ruptures, it can form an abscess. This confines the infection to a small walled off area. However, an abscess can still be dangerous.
symptoms of appendicitis :-
• lower right side abdominal pain
• loss of appetite
• diarrhea or constipation
• inability to pass gas
• abdominal swelling
• low grade fever
• a sense you might feel better after passing stool
Pain in appendicitis may start as mild cramping pain and gradually it increases.
A perforated appendix can be fatal. The risk of death is highest in infants and the elderly.
Diagnosis of appendicitis :-
-Physical exam – looks for tenderness in the lower right quadrant of abdomen.
If patient is pregnant, the pain may be higher.
If perforation occurs, your stomach may become hard and swollen.
-Abdominal sonography ( USG )
-X-ray of abdomen
-CT scan of abdomen
Treatment for appendicitis :-
Treatment for appendicitis varies but surgery will be necessary.
If you have an abscess that hasn’t ruptured, you may receive antibiotics first. Drain the abscess using a tube placed through the skin. Surgery will remove appendix after received treatment for the infection.
If you have a ruptured appendix, surgery is necessary right away.
Surgery to remove the appendix is known as an appendectomy.
Prevention of appendicitis :-
You can’t prevent appendicitis,
It’s less common in people who have diets high fiber diet can be preventive.
Eating a healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables increases your fiber intake.
Untreated appendicitis can become a medical emergency.