The appendix is a 3.5-inch long tube of tissue from the large intestine. Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix that leads to extreme pain in the stomach. This is a medical emergency that if left untreated can have dangerous consequences. If left untreated, the inflamed appendix can burst and lead to spillage of infectious material.
Appendicitis takes place when the appendix is blocked by a foreign body. The most common appendix symptoms include increased pain in the abdomen near the navel and vomiting and/or nausea, constant fever, loss of appetite and abdominal swelling. Sometimes, other symptoms like severe cramps, painful urination and pain in the back or rectum may also crop up. The most common age group for appendicitis is 10-30 years.
Most of the time, appendicitis is confused with indigestion or gas-related pain. This can feel like as if one is not able to expel gas. If this gets severe with unbearable pain or discomfort, one should contact their doctor immediately. Laxatives and enema should be completely avoided as this can lead to bursting of the appendix.
If you are facing any of the above symptoms, there is a need to get your appendix checked by a physician. Urgent medical attention is important for timely diagnosis without treatment delay. It is important that one does not self-medicate or use any home remedies if they are experiencing the above symptoms as it could lead to an inflammation or rupture.
Other than the signs and symptoms, diagnosis can also happen by blood, urine or imaging test and physical examination. One of the solutions for appendicitis is an appendectomy surgery that involves surgical removal of the appendix. This is the standard treatment and most people recover quickly with any complications. Most times, to prepare for the surgery, one needs to avoid eating for at least 8 hours. Like any other surgery, the doctor should be informed about any parallel medication that you take.
There are times when one develops an abscess on the appendix. In such cases, the doctor treats the abscess and then performs the surgery.
The surgery is performed in two ways – open and laparoscopic. The kind of surgery recommended by your doctor depends on various factors that include the medical history and the kind of appendicitis. There are various surgery packages online available to choose from in case you notice the symptoms.
Most people are able to go home on the same day of the surgery. The release depends on the physical condition, type of surgery and the body’s reaction to surgery. There are chances of experiencing discomfort and slight pain at the place of incision. One might be put on antibiotics to prevent any infections or complications. Signs of infection can include fever, nausea, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, constipation and redness or swelling near the incision. A full recovery could take about 4-6 days.
While there is no way to prevent appendicitis, it would be less common in people who take care of what they eat and consume foods high in fibre. There are some precautions that one needs to take to help healing. These include avoiding strenuous activities for a few months, taking adequate rest when required, supporting the abdomen while coughing and speaking with your physician as soon as it is required.