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Overview

Appendicitis is a medical condition which indicates inflammation of the appendix. In almost all cases of appendicitis, appendix removal surgery is performed to remove the appendix. The appendix is an organ, the removal of which does not cause any harm to the human body. If it is left untreated, the damaged appendix will burst, spilling harmful bacteria in the abdominal cavity which infects and harms the organs in the abdominal cavity, therefore prompt treatment becomes mandatory during appendicitis. The cause of appendicitis is usually blockage of the appendix either due to stool or any foreign element which leads to inflammation of the appendix.

Pain around the navel which becomes worse with time and moves towards the right side of the abdomen, vomiting and decreased appetite are usually the early appendicitis symptoms. Other appendicitis symptoms in adults include diarrhoea, constipation, fever and chills, nausea and difficulty passing gas. Children usually suffer from abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. These appendicitis symptoms in children may also occur due to a normal stomach ache or infection, therefore only diagnosis can show if the underlying cause for the symptoms is appendicitis.

Women may develop appendicitis during late pregnancy as the growing uterus pushes the appendix higher. In this case, pain due to appendicitis will be felt in the upper abdomen accompanied by heartburn, gas and alternating episodes of constipation and diarrhoea. Sometimes, the appendix may burst and spill its content in the abdominal cavity. When the appendix bursts, the original pain tends to subside and the patient feels better. This is a more dangerous situation as it causes various health issues. Symptoms that indicate an appendicitis burst can be fever, rapid breathing, confusion, feeling of rectal fullness, pain that becomes worse on movement etc.

 

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Appendicitis Treatment

The best acute appendicitis treatment is removal of the appendix by surgery (appendectomy). In mild cases, antibiotics can be provided but appendix removal surgery is usually preferred unless no other risks are involved such as during pregnancy. Appendectomy, becomes unavoidable for cases of acute appendicitis and can be carried out in either of the following methods :

Open appendectomy :​

The surgeon makes a cut in your abdomen, removes the appendix and stitches the wound.

Laparoscopic appendectomy:​ In medical treatment of appendicitis, the surgeon makes a few small cuts in your abdomen and inserts a laproscope in your abdomen which enables them to see the conditions inside your abdomen. When your appendix is located, then the surgeon ties it with stitches and removes it. The wounds are then closed.

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