Inflammation of the appendix is called appendicitis.
The appendix is attached at the beginning of the large intestine. It is a vestigial pouch.
Bacteria enter the appendix and infects its wall hence causing inflammation called appendicitis.
It is represented by abdominal pain with tenderness, nausea and vomiting and fever.
The appendix is a thin tube.Its length is 4 inches.It is present at the junction of the small and large intestine.
The lumen of the appendix inflames and obstructs resulting in increased pressure. Intestinal bacteria multiply in the appendix.White blood cells invade and attack bacteria and form pus as a result intraluminal pressure increases.The appendix can be removed without any problem to the digestive system.
Blockage of an opening of the appendix is considered to be the cause of appendicitis. Blockage occurs either because of thick mucus or from stool that enters the appendix through cecum.These contents become hard and block the opening.After the blockage bacteria invade and infect the walls of the appendix.
The inflammation and infection can spread causing the appendix to rupture.[/expand]Age/Sex prevalence of Appendicitis
It is common in middle age group people.
Appendicitis is divided into 3 types:
• Acute appendicitis: It appears suddenly, causing severe pain. Mostly surgical treatment is needed in acute cases.
• Chronic appendicitis: It is a long-standing inflammation of the appendix.
• Recurring appendicitis: As the name indicates, the appendix gets inflamed and infected again and again.
• Food waste or a hard piece of stool can block the opening of the appendix.
• Infection in the appendix.
Enlarge lymphoid follicles.
• Aching pain that begins around the navel and often shifts to your lower right abdomen.
• Rebound tenderness.
• Pain becomes worse on slightest motion.
• Loss of appetite.
• Low-grade fever.
• Inability to pass gas.
• Abdominal swelling.
• Abdominal Abscess
• Diverticular Disease
• Crohn Disease
• Mesenteric Ischemia
• Kidney stone
• Omental Torsion
• Mesenteric Lymphadenitis
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease
• Ovarian Cysts
• Ovarian Torsion
Examinations to diagnose appendicitis and to rule out other conditions of pain in the abdomen, following tests are done:
• A physical exam to assess your pain.
• Blood test. High WBC count indicates infection.
• Urinalysis to differentiate between appendicitis and kidney stone that can cause the same type of pain.
• X-ray abdomen
• CT scan.
In emergency conditions of acute appendicitis surgery is done to remove the appendix. The procedure is called appendectomy.
• Administer IV fluids.
• Monitor vital signs.
• Avoid analgesics as it subsides the pain that will make the examination ineffective.
• Avoid hot application over abdomen as it may cause the appendix to rupture.
• Pain relief medicines are given.
• Monitor vital signs at an interval of half an hour for two hours.
• Change the wound dressing every 1-2 days.
• Bed rest is not allowed much in order to prevent the formation of emboli.
A well-balanced diet with lots of fiber. Fruits, milk, fruit juices, green vegetables.
Avoid meat, fried food, white sugar, white flour, spices, refines cereals, canned foods, tea, coffee, and alcohol.
If removal of the appendix is done before rupture patient recovers early. If rupture occurs in abdomen recovery is slow or other complications may develop e.g. abscess.
• Rupture and/ or peritonitis may also occur, which require repeat operations and generally result in a prolonged recovery
• Fever exceeding 103°F and elevated white blood cell count are more likely in cases of perforation
• Perforation and subsequent abscess formation are more likely if symptoms have been ongoing for more than 48-72 hours.
• Acute Appendicitis.
• High fever and throbbing with a flushed face.
• Violent delirium with the high fever.
• Throbbing and sharp stitching pains.
• The abdomen is very sensitive to touch.
• Least movement is painful.
• Swelling with pain and restlessness.
• Twisting pains with gas formation.
• Indicated in septic conditions.
• Chills, diarrhea, and restlessness.
• The abdomen is sensitive to touch.
• Bloated abdomen.
• Least touch causes pain.
• Indicated in septic cases.
• It is given after operation.
• Distended abdomen.
• Bruised feeling.
• Swelling in the ileo-caecal region.
• Least touch and movement is painful.
• Retracted abdominal wall.
• Eructations and vomiting have a fecal odor.
• Indicated after the operation when there is no relief.
• It is prescribed in patients who become nervous from any abdominal pain.
• Pain in the abdomen makes the patient to bend double.
• Sensation as if stones are in the abdomen and it would burst.
• Associated cramps in calves.
• Pain is felt below the navel.
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