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Appendicitis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Appendicitis ?

Appendicitis is a condition which illustrates inflammation of the appendix.

Appendicitis may be acute or chronic. This condition can happen in every one of us at any time. However it has been observed that it mostly occurs between the ages of 10-30. Appendicitis occurs more in men than in women. Complications from this disease can be serious and fatal if it is not treated in time.

Causes of Appendicitis

In most of the cases the cause for appendicitis is not known. There can be several causes for developing this disease. Experts believe that one of the main conditions for developing appendicitis is an obstruction in the appendix. This obstruction can be complete and also partial. When there is a complete obstruction in appendix, it calls for an emergency surgery.

Obstruction in appendix often happens due to accumulation of fecal matters, which results in:

  • Worms
  • Enlarged lymphoid follicles
  • Tumor and
  • Trauma

When appendix get obstructed, it leads to multiplication of bacteria inside the organ, which in turn leads to formation of pus.Increased pressure inside appendix creates pain as it compresses the blood vessels inside the organ which can even lead to gangrene. So in severe cases this obstruction often calls for an emergency surgery.As, if the appendix ruptures, fecal matters can fill the abdomen, ruptured appendix can lead to peritonitis, which is a deadly condition that can be a cause for sepsis.Peritonitis also affects organs like the cecum, bladder and sigmoid colon, which when inflamed can be fatal for the patient. However, instead of rupturing if the infected appendix leaks, it can form an abscess. Though abscess is less dangerous than peritonitis, but still then it can be really harmful for the patient. Primarily appendicitis is diagnosed by performing a physical examination on the patient. The doctor looks for tenderness in the lower right quadrant of the patient’s abdomen. However, if the patient is pregnant the pain can be in a place higher up the abdomen. In case of perforation of the appendix, the patient’s stomach may get hard and swollen.

How is the condition treated?

Apart from physical examination doctors also perform other tests to diagnose this disease and rule out other illnesses.

Urinalysis, pelvic examination, abdominal CT scan and X-ray are conducted to rule out possibilities of urinary tract infections, pelvic infections and other abdominal complications like peritoneal abscess respectively.

Even pregnancy test and chest X-ray is conducted on the patients at times to rule out possibilities of ectopic pregnancy and right lower lobe pneumonia, before arriving at a conclusion that the patient is suffering from appendicitis.

Appendectomy or surgical removal of the appendix is the only remedy of appendicitis.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Loss of appetite. Abdominal pain, tenderness, nausea and vomiting. Fever

Popular Health Tips

Appendicitis- How Can Surgery Help You?

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship In Laparoscopic & Robotic Onco-Surgery, Fellowship In bariatric surgery, F.I.A.G.E.S
General Surgeon, Delhi
Appendicitis- How Can Surgery Help You?

Appendicitis occurs when there is an obstruction in the lining of the appendix, resulting in an infection. Left to itself, it may lead to swelling, inflammation, formation of pus, and rupture of the appendix. The most common symptoms of appendicitis are pain in the abdomen, abdominal swelling, nausea, loss of appetite, high fever.

What is the Appendix?
Appendix is a small, 3.5 inch long pouch-like tube of tissues present in the colon, which is located on the right side of your lower abdomen. Quite a few research studies suggest that the appendix functions as a depository for the good bacteria and helps reboot your digestive system after it is rendered dysfunctional by diseases like diarrhea. However, doctors suggest that the human body can function perfectly without an appendix and hence, one can have their appendix removed in order to prevent bacterial infection or inflammation from spreading to the abdominal cavity.

Appendicitis surgery, also known as appendectomy, is the procedure of removing the appendix before it gets ruptured. There are two methods of performing an appendectomy- open appendectomy and laparoscopic appendectomy.

  1. Open appendectomy- During the procedure the doctor will make a surgical cut in your lower abdomen to remove the appendix. Moreover, if the appendix has already burst, your abdominal cavity will be cleaned. After that the wound will be carefully stitched. Open appendectomy is the preferred choice for those who’ve had a surgery before, or when the abdominal infection has spread to other body organs.
  2. Laparoscopic appendectomy- To start with this procedure, the doctor will first make a couple of cuts – usually three - in your abdomen and insert a narrow small tube known as cannula. The cannula inflates your abdomen with carbon dioxide gas, which gives your doctor a clear view of the appendix. Next, a thin long tube with attached camera and light, known as laparoscope, will be inserted through the cut. The camera displays the images of your abdomen and appendix on a monitor screen and thereby allows your doctor to tie it off with stitches and remove it. After the removal, the incision will be cleaned, closed and dressed. This type of surgery is a preferred option for adults who are slightly overweight. Moreover, this procedure is safer and faster as compared to open appendectomy.

Appendectomy is usually a safe and permanent solution to have your appendicitis removed. It does not have many serious complications or side effects. Like all surgeries, there are some post treatment guidelines to quicken the recovery process. You should clear your doubts with your doctor after the surgery.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1925 people found this helpful

Pain In Lower Abdomen - What Could Be The Causes?

MBBS, MD - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Pain Management Specialist, Jaipur
Pain In Lower Abdomen - What Could Be The Causes?

Lower abdomen pain can originate from a range of medical issues. In some cases, the pain disappears just like the way it came, in some cases, it takes longer medical treatment to cure the pain. Once the origin and the root cause of the pain are diagnosed, there are plenty of medical options to cure the pain. In this piece, we will briefly touch upon the causes of lower abdomen pain:

  1. Appendicitis: This is one of the most common causes of lower abdomen pain. It typically originates from the right side of the stomach and soon diverges into the other side as well. The pain can become unbearable in a matter of hours.
  2. Pelvic inflammatory disease: This is an infection that is caused in the reproductive system of a woman. This is often characterized by vaginal discharge, fever, weakness, intercourse related pain and pain in the lower abdomen.
  3. Miscarriage: In case there is a loss of fetus on or before the twentieth week, the mishap is termed as miscarriage. It results in acute pain in the lower abdomen pain, vaginal bleeding, back pain, fluid expulsion from the vagina etc.
  4. Fibroids: This is a growth in the uterus that is often non-cancerous and is commonly characterized by symptoms such as heavy periods, constipation, pain in the legs and back area, pain in the lower abdomen area, frequent urination etc.
  5. CancerA cancerous growth in the lower abdomen area can lead to very sharp pain in the back and surrounding area. The pain is dull in nature and slowly spreads to other areas in a short interval of time.
  6. Cholecystitis:  This is a disorder that results in swelling of the gallbladder area. It results in a sharp pain in the lower abdomen area. A doctor needs to be immediately consulted if a person is suffering from this disease.
  7. Intestinal obstruction: When the lower bowl gets blocked due to the contents of the lower intestine, a person can feel a sharp pain in the lower abdomen area.
  8. Salpingitis: When a woman faces stiff pain in the lower abdomen area due to an inflammation of the fallopian tube, Salpingitis is the culprit behind it. This is a sexual disease and needs a doctor’s consultation to get rid of it.
  9. PMS: A woman can face throbbing pain in the lower abdomen area during her monthly periods. Other symptoms include cramps, weakness, fatigue etc.
  10. EndometriosisWhen there is an extension of the uterus tissue just outside the wall of the uterus, it leads to symptoms such as lower abdomen pain, cramps etc.
  11. Polycystic ovarian syndrome: This is a disorder of the hormone and can lead to symptoms such as heavy periods, a growth of facial hair accompanied with sharp pain the lower abdomen area.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2923 people found this helpful

Know Everything About Tubal Scarring and Infertility

MBBS, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, Certified IVF Specialist
IVF Specialist, Delhi
Know Everything About Tubal Scarring and Infertility

The fallopian tubes are not mere passages for the egg to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. It is here that conception occurs and hence healthy fallopian tubes are essential for the fertilization of an egg. 

Damaged fallopian tubes are the most common cause of infertility. This damage can fall under three categories:

  1. Blocked fallopian tubes
  2. One blocked and one open fallopian tube
  3. Tubal scarring

The third is usually an effect of pelvic infections or natural healing after a pelvic surgery. Sadly, in most cases, this condition is discovered only after infertility has been diagnosed. Other causes of fallopian tubal scarring include:

Fallopian tubal scarring has no recognizable symptoms. Chronic pelvic pain is the only known symptom of this damage and that too can be seen only in severe cases of tubal scarring. On diagnosing infertility, your doctor will perform one of these tests to determine the condition of your fallopian tubes.

  1. Hysterosalpingogram: This is a type of X-ray. Your doctor will open the vagina with a speculum and inject a liquid into the uterus with the help of a catheter. If the liquid does not pass through the fallopian tubes, it is said to be blocked. This however does not say much about tubal scarring. 
  2. Laparoscopy: A small incision is made below the belly button and a slim, flexible tube with a camera is passed through the incision. This gives your doctor a clear view of the condition of your fallopian tubes. A laparoscopy can also be used to rule out other causes of infertility such as endometriosis or blocked fallopian tubes. 

Treatment for infertility caused by tubal scarring is of two types. 

  1. Surgery: This is suggested in cases where tubal scarring is minimal. Depending on the intensity and placement of scar tissue, your doctor may decide to perform one of many types of surgeries. She may choose to remove the scarred section of the fallopian tube, create a new opening (in case of blockages) or rebuild the damaged edges of the fallopian tubes.
  2. In Vitro Fertilization(IVF): Women with badly scarred fallopian tubes usually have poor chances of conceiving naturally. Hence, IVF is the preferred treatment route. However, your doctor may still advise you to undergo surgery and remove the damaged tubes prior to IVF to prevent the tubes from filling with fluid.

In large number of cases of tubal scarring tubes would be open on tubal testing. However, it may not be working well or is functional. A lot of women with so called unexplained infertility may actually have tubal scarring or non functional tubes as the cause of Infertility. IVF is the best treatment option in such cases as it would bypass the work of the tubes completely. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an IVF Specialist.

3406 people found this helpful

Appendicitis - How It Is Treated?

MS - General Surgery, MBBS
General Surgeon, Delhi
Appendicitis - How It Is Treated?

Even Roald Dahl faked having appendicitis in his famous book, but, what exactly is appendicitis? Wouldn’t it be a little interesting, to say the least, to find out what causes it and what treatment a person can expect to undergo in the case of getting it?

Quite simply, appendicitis is the name of the condition when the appendix swells up. Under normal circumstances, it is about three and a half inches in length. The ironic part about this is the fact that though appendicitis may cause tremendous pain and warrants surgery, no doctor is really aware of the reason why the appendix exists, in the first place! As a matter of fact, it is fully possible to live without an appendix and many people have not experienced any health problems after having their appendix removed.

While the appendix does not serve any properly defined function, this really does not mean that appendicitis is something that is not all that serious. In fact, if there is an explosion of the appendix, a person can die without very strong levels of medication in a time bound manner!

So, what is the cause behind this scary prospect? Simply said, when the appendix gets blocked, the result is appendicitis. What blocks it? Well, it could be cancer, a foreign body or even stool! That being said, it is to be kept in mind that this is not the only reason as to why appendicitis exists. If there is an infection in the body, in response to it, the appendix may end up getting inflamed.

With the exception of a very small minority of cases in which very strong antibiotics are made use of in order to treat appendicitis, a surgery to remove the appendix is usually a given case scenario when a person has appendicitis. As a matter of fact, it is treated as an emergency and the doctors go ahead and start the treatment as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of the rupture of the appendix.

It usually takes about two or three weeks before a person can get back to normal activities though some gentle movement can be undertaken within about twelve hours since the end of the operation. There are two types of surgery. If a laparoscopic surgery is being performed, the recovery is relatively straightforward but if an open surgery is performed, the recovery can take more time and would require a greater amount of care. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a General Surgeon.

3589 people found this helpful

Stomach Ache in Kids - 7 Causes Behind It!

Diploma in Child Health (DCH), MBBS
Pediatrician, Noida
Stomach Ache in Kids - 7 Causes Behind It!

Stomach aches or abdominal pains are one of the most frequently reported health complaints faced by children. Children below the age of twelve are known to suffer from recurrent stomach pain. While pains such as these lead to momentary discomfiture, they also lay the path for graver worries if neglected for too long. Your child may feel sick and bunk school for two days; rest and home care can restore his or her health, but that in no way, is the best suited way of dealing with the situation. If tummy aches resurface over a certain period of time, parents should be cautious enough to look for the root cause and should try to eliminate it accordingly.

Widely noticed causes of stomach aches in children:

  1. Unhygienic food can affect the child’s digestive system.
  2. Intolerance to a certain food item should not be overlooked.
  3. Perpetual anxiety can make the tummy twist and turn.
  4. Urinary Tract Infections can also lead to acute abdominal pain.
  5. Serious factors such as gallstones or appendicitis could also be present. Immediate expert consultation is advised in such a case.
  6. Caffeine and packaged soft drinks can be harmful.
  7. Butter, ghee and other greasy products can trigger tummy aches.

Ways to treat tummy aches in children:

  1. Keep children away from gas producing food items: Food that is hard to digest should be avoided. Lentil soup or dal should only be consumed in limited amounts to prevent the formation of gas. Don’t let your child have too many nuts regularly.
  2. Keep them hydrated: Fluid intake should be monitored. A child should drink at least six to seven glasses of water per day. Fruit juices or soups can also be given to them alongside main meals. This helps digestion.
  3. Do not stack up food in one go: Eating a lot in one meal is a bad way of satisfying hunger. Have smaller meals in more numbers. Six to eight meals will keep your child full and will also eliminate chances of acid reflux which happens either due to an empty stomach or too much piling up of greasy food.
  4. Timely check - up with the doctor: If tummy aches refuse to go away, take your child to a doctor for a thorough check- up. Administer medicines as prescribed by the physician.
2730 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi Sir, I drink alcohol every day for about 200 ml which has 46 percentage alcohol. I had appendix operation 8 months before and I eat lots of homemade food no fast food but I feel pain in appendix side little bit.

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Chennai
Do an ultrasound abdomen and liver function blood tests, it is more likely to be fatty liver or hepatitis which mimics appendix pain, you need to stop alcohol totally, consult a psychiatrist.

I had gone through appendicitis in 2016 january, I had a surgery to remove my appendix. So my question is ,Is it safe for my body to do heavy exercise such as I want to go to gym. Should I go to gym?

MBBS, MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Hyderabad
1 month after surgery you need to be careful in lifting heavy weights, after that you can do your routine exercises and workout. As you are saying surgery was done last year, you can go ahead with your gym.

I have my appendix removed and the surgical wound is septic and had the nurse dressing everyday. What would I eat to make it heal fast.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Surgeon, Vijayawada
Hello post operative wound infection in a appendix case is common, it just needs regular dressings and antibiotic cover, and it should be okay by 1 or 2 weeks so nothing much to be worried off just leave a positive comment if useful.

Please suggest for the reports Minimal peritumoral lymphocytic infiltrate noted, lymphatic invasion noted focally Biopsy: right hemicolectomy specimen with mucinous adenocarcinoma the caecum involving entire thickness of caecal wall. Surgery over please let me know what is the further treatment required?

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Diplomate of National board in Surgical Oncology
General Surgeon, Kolkata
Hi although surgery is over he will require adjuvant chemotherapy depending upon his report. Consult an oncologist for same.

Muje 2 month pehle stomach me pain hui thi altrasound kraya to appendix btai. Uske baad muje 1 week medicine di aur operation k liye bola 2 month k baad. Lakin ab mai theek hu. Kya ab jarurat hai operation ki?

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Diplomate of National board in Surgical Oncology
General Surgeon, Kolkata
Hi lybrate-user appendicitis is common at your age its still a clinical diagnosis. Usg. Ct scan etc are only problem solving methods in case there is confusion on diagnosis. Final diagnosis occurs only after operation Interval appendicectomy or when your symptoms are not there is safe and sound so go for it. Its better to get it done than to land up with emergency pain abdomen.

Table of Content

What is Appendicitis ?

Causes of Appendicitis

How is the condition treated?

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Here are health-related tips of Appendicitis

Hello friends! Now I am going to talk about an entity about which way you and everyone has been hearing since our childhood an Appendicitis , and Appendicectomy, an operation for that. We all hear this thing right since our childhood. It is one of the most commonly affecting disease in general population whether it is male or female. The incidence is right from the first decade of the age and it goes on till almost 50, 55 years. Thankfully, the appendicectomy after late fifties is not much and therefore the population below fifty is definitely vulnerable for it. Why we see a lot of patients with appendicitis nowadays? I think one of the reason is our bad to worse lifestyle. Less water intake, constipating foods like all junk and fast foods, absence or minimal presence of green leafy vegetables, vegetables in general, a sedentary lifestyle and so and so forth are all the factors which induce constipation and situations even like appendicitis.

We see a lot of children who have gained a lot of weight, thanks to the food habits. And this also is one section of the society in which we see a lot of appendicitis. How does a patient feel? How does a patient present with appendicitis? Well the cardinal, most important thing is pain, severe pain usually starting from the middle of your tummy and ,then probably in sometime, over a period of 12 to 24 hours, localizing to the right lower side of your abdomen, wherein it will remain constant. The pain can be quite unnerving needing immediate medications, injections, sometimes even hospital admission and this will be associated with lot of dyspepsia, nausea, in some patients even severe vomiting. This is one of the most classical way in which appendix presents and it is also called as Acute Appendicitis.

Well we have a small section of patients where all these dramatic symptoms may not be there and patients may complain mainly of dyspepsia, fullness of tummy, bloating, especially after eating food. Few hours after consuming the food pain will be dragging sometimes dull sometimes severe, but we will keep localizing to the right lower quadrant of the right lower side of the abdomen. Appendicitis is a clinical diagnosis which a doctor makes after examining the patient. We see a lot of patients coming to us with CT scans, ultrasonic abdomen, MRI and things like that. Trust me in even 21st century the best diagnosis for appendicitis is made by clinician, a doctor who examines the patients and thereby a lot of appendicitis patients, they don't need CT scans and things like that, unless and until a complication has happened or we are dealing with something else or there is a diagnostic dilemma.

So what does a patient need to have? Well he needs to have some basic blood tests that complete blood picture. We also need to show and be sure that there is no urinary tract infection especially in young women and thereby we also ask for a urine examination. In young fertile or what we call as, you know menstruating age group women, we need to be very sure about the genic history and things like that. Before we come to a diagnosis, an ultrasound helps in appendicitis as a way what we call by diagnosis by exclusion wherein exclude that there is no right kidney stone, There is no right electric stone and in women the right ovary and fallopian tubes are clean, but mainly and I would reinforces is this that appendicitis still demands a clinical diagnosis.

All the investigations which we do, they aid the diagnosis they don't make the diagnosis really. The second important factor is appendicitis can be dramatic and can present with complications like number 1 ,wherein a patient who is having abdominal pain will suddenly become sick ,his pulse rate will go and start having high grade fever and so and so forth. The pain will not be relieved by any analgesic. Conventionally, you should always suspect a perforation of appendix. Likewise a patient can also present to us with what we call as an appendicular abscess, wherein it has perforated and there is a nice pus collection around the appendix. So a small disease ignored at that particular time can present to us in a very dramatic way and with a lot of complications. Well the treatment of appendicitis in one sentence is an appendicectomy an operation. All the medicines which are used to treat appendicitis or associated conditions will give a temporary relief, will alleviate the pain for some time, will reduce the infection, but will not take away the problem. I strongly recommend that a simple operation is the best remedy. This surgery can also be done by conventional method, an open surgery or a laparoscopic method. And appendicitis is a situation which can grow from simple to bad and worse within no time. Thereby, don't waste time, try and seek and early treatment. Number 2, don't get feared by the fact that you will need an operation, because in the final run a simply done timely nice operation will save you from all the possible complications and the drama you go through.

Thereby I request you to make use of me through this wonderful medium or you are free to consult me at my consultation rooms at your wish and will. Thank you.
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