The appendix is a finger-shaped pouch. It emerges from the colon and is located on the lower right side of your abdomen. Inflammation of the appendix is known as appendicitis.
If you have appendicitis, you will feel pain in your lower right abdomen.
Pain can also begin around your navel and then moves towards the right. Abdominal pain due to appendicitis can become intense and severe as inflammation worsens. Children and adults develop appendicitis quite often. However, it can develop at any age.
What are the symptoms of appendicitis?
The most common or typical signs and symptoms of appendicitis may include the following:
- Pain on the right side of the lower abdomen
- Sudden pain can also begin around your navel and then radiate to your lower right abdomen
- Pain can become worse when you walk, move and make jarring movements
- Abdominal bloating
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low-grade fever
What are the causes of appendicitis?
Appendicitis causes: An infection due to a blockage in the lining of the appendix is the potential cause of appendicitis. Rapidly multiplying bacteria cause inflammation in the appendix making it swell and fill up with pus. In the absence of prompt treatment, the appendix can rupture.
What are the complications?
The complications associated with appendicitis include a ruptured appendix. When an appendix ruptures, the infection spreads throughout the abdomen (peritonitis). An experienced surgical gastroenterologist performs emergency surgery to remove the appendix
How is appendicitis diagnosed?
Your surgical gastroenterologist will take into consideration all your signs and symptoms and then examine your abdomen. Your doctor will do a physical examination to assess your pain. He or she will apply gentle pressure on the painful area. After releasing the pressure, the pain will become worse and signals the inflammation of the peritoneum. Your doctor may also examine your rectum – a digital rectal examination. Your doctor may also order a blood test, urine test, and other imaging tests such as an ultrasound or a CT, or MRI.
What is the standard treatment for appendicitis?
The standard treatment for appendicitis is the surgical removal of the appendix.
If an appendix bursts and an abscess form around it, your doctor drains out the abscess by placing a tube through the abdominal wall. The gastro surgeon will also give antibiotics to clear the infection. Appendectomy can be performed several weeks later after controlling the infection.