The vermiform appendix is a small tube attached to the intestine near the point where the small and large intestine meet. The word vermiform is Latin and means "shaped like a worm." Inflammation of the appendix is called appendicitis and may be caused either by a viral or bacterial infection or blockage of stool in the digestive tract. It rarely occurs in the case of certain tumors around or in the appendix.
What is the role of the appendix?
The appendix, which is around 4 inches in length, is located on the right side of the abdomen, near the bottom portion. Tissue in tube form, with one end sealed up. An essential part of our digestive system is the cecum, the pouch-like region of the large intestine. Even though it is present in rudimentary form in humans, it can cause several problems if inflamed.
The Warning signs and symptoms of appendicitis
As the disease progresses, the onset of symptoms varies among different age groups and might be mistaken for other disorders. It is critical to be able to identify the signs since they can be highly unpleasant and even life-threatening if left untreated.
Signs and symptoms in adults
- Inability to expel gas and a lack of appetite
- Fever of 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit
- Bloating of the stomach
Signs and symptoms in babies and children
- When it comes to newborns and children, there may be no distinct region of discomfort. It's possible to feel discomfort throughout, or there can be no pain.
- The bowel motions of children and newborns may be less frequent or nonexistent. Diarrhea might be a sign of something else.
- Research reveals that stomach pain is the most prevalent symptom in toddlers and babies, even though children and infants may not feel pain as precisely as adult patients.
Fast Facts on Symptoms of Appendicitis
- Acute abdominal pain necessitating surgery due to appendicitis is the most prevalent cause of acute abdominal pain in the United States (U.S.).
- Generally, it is most frequent between adolescence and early adulthood. The most common first symptom is severe, abrupt abdominal discomfort.
- The pain occurring in an inflamed appendix is usually in the middle of the abdomen, generally around the belly button. It will then usually shift to the lower right abdomen. The stomach will be very sensitive to pressure. This pain may be accompanied by other symptoms like abdominal swelling, vomiting, and fever. Pain, vomiting, and then fever are the classic symptoms of acute appendicitis.
- The discomfort frequently starts in the area around the navel. The lower right of the abdomen is most likely to be affected as it progresses.
- Moving around, taking big breaths, coughing, or sneezing may exacerbate the discomfort in the coming hours.
- Only half of the patients have these signs and symptoms.
- Stomach discomfort, for example, may be felt just very faintly or not at all by some people. Some people may experience symptoms that aren't as common.
When should you see a physician?
- If you have appendicitis, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. The longer you wait to cure it, the worse it will get. Initially, gas is a frequent symptom.
- Patients should contact a doctor right away if over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don't help alleviate their gas or if the discomfort is getting worse. It's possible that rushing to the hospital's emergency department is the best course of action.
- Preventing future problems by treating appendicitis as soon as symptoms arise is the best way to deal with the condition.
It may be necessary to remove the inflamed appendix with a surgical procedure known as an appendectomy. In some cases, a course of antibiotics may treat the inflammation without surgery necessary.
- An appendectomy may be performed by cutting through the abdominal wall. This procedure is called a laparotomy and is used in advanced infection cases. The kind of incision used for removing the appendix is called a lower midline incision. The doctor makes a single vertical incision in the lower abdomen of the patient. A laparotomy is performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
- Another kind of surgical procedure used to remove the appendix is laparoscopy. Laparoscopic surgery uses several small incisions. It is considered to be "minimally invasive surgery." The surgeon inserts a small camera into one of the incisions and manipulates surgical tools through the others while watching the video from the camera. Laparoscopic surgery can be performed under local anesthesia.
Diagnosis of Appendicitis
- A diagnosis of appendicitis or other health problems can be confirmed or detected with blood and urine testing. Pregnant women may also be asked to provide blood or urine samples for testing.
- Imaging tests, such as an abdominal ultrasound, MRI exam, or CT scan, may also be ordered by the doctor if necessary.
Risk of delaying the treatment
- Appendicitis can burst within 48 to 72 hours of the onset of symptoms due to inflammation.
- Infection and severe difficulties, including death, can result from a rupture because germs, excrement, and air enter the abdomen.
- Several diseases can occur from a ruptured appendix, such as an inflammation of the abdomen's membrane or an abscess.
- Appendicitis is curable if caught early enough, and patients usually make a quick and complete recovery. The mortality rate is less than 1% if surgery is performed as soon as possible.
- For example, if surgery or antibiotics are unavailable, the death rate might be as high as 50% in rural places.
- Complications such as an abscess or peritonitis can occur if the appendix ruptures. These instances may necessitate a protracted recovery. Elderly folks, on the other hand, may have a more challenging time recuperating.
- Some experts believe the appendix may be the sole trusted source for maintaining a healthy immune system. However, it is deemed a non-functional organ.
When the appendix becomes inflamed, it can cause discomfort in the right lower abdomen. Appendicitis pain normally worsens as the inflammation progresses and finally becomes unbearable. You should see a doctor immediately if you see any of the symptoms mentioned in the article. Cured.com hopes that this information will help you recognize the warning signals and take prompt action.From the Web