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.
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:
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.
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.