Ever heard of an organ that is a tube-shaped narrow pouch and is connected to the large intestine? Yes, you are right; it is called the ‘appendix’. A condition where there is inflammation of the appendix is called Appendicitis. The usual treatment is to remove the inflammation in an operation as the symptoms tend to get worse between 6-24 hours and in a case where the appendix perforates, it might even be fatal.
Some of the very common symptoms of appendicitis are the following:
Abdominal Pain: Initially the pain would be dull, aching or cramping throughout the abdomen, however, as the appendix became more inflamed and swollen there would be a sharp pain in the right lower part of the abdomen.
Nausea and Vomiting: Patients who are suffering from appendicitis might face digestive upset where they might experience diarrhoea, constipation, loss of appetite and troubles passing gas.
Mild Fever: The patient might experience mild fever, however, in cases where the appendix ruptures, the fever might reach up to or greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit along with an elevation in the heart rate.
It is said that the appendix ruptures very quickly as 48 to 72 hours from the beginning of symptoms and so, it is essential for the patient to be aware of the symptoms and to seek medical help as soon as possible.
Upon consulting a doctor, following are the tests that he might advise the patient to take to determine the condition:
Blood tests to (or “intending to”) indicating any existing infections.
An abdominal ultrasound to check the inflammation
An abdominal CT Scan for inflammation
Urine tests in a view to check for kidney stones or urinary tract infections.
Once the results are out, the doctor would perform either of the two surgeries explained below, depending upon the conditions: a) Open appendectomy: This procedure involves one incision and helps in cleaning the abdominal cavity if the appendix has burst. b) Laparoscopic appendectomy: This procedure involves a few more incisions along with the insertion of a laparoscope to find the appendix and remove it.
It is essential that the patient stays in the hospital until the pain subsides and he/she can consume liquids. Also, in cases where any complication occurs, the patient might be advised to take antibiotics for a day or two to clear it.
Appendix can happen at any time and to anyone, however, it most often occurs between the ages of 10 to 30 years and is more common in men than women. To prevent chances of appendicitis, one must increase the intake of fruits and vegetables that are rich in fibre like apples, raspberries, pears, oatmeal, etc. This is because fibre helps prevent constipation and subsequent stool build-up. However, in cases where you or a loved one is experiencing inflammation or infection of bowels, it is advisable to consult a doctor, seek medical aid and create an effective plan to prevent appendicitis.