Appendix & its Treatment
What is Appendix?
Appendix is a blind intestinal tubuler structure, a part of gastro-intestinal system present near the junction of small intestine with the large intestine. It is a vestigial organ , thus has no ill effects on its removal.
What causes Appendicitis?
Acute Appendicitis means Severe inflammation of appendix. Commonest age group affected is children. The cause is mostly obstruction of its lumen.
What are the symptoms?
Pain around umblicus which shifts to the right lower abdomen.
coughing causes increase in local pain.
nausea and vomiting.
fever, loose stools,
Burning in urine
It is the commonest abdominal emergency. There are various other conditions, which can mimic acute appendicitis. A prompt medical advice is mandatory to avoid the complications of acute appendicitis which can even become life threatening if the appendix ruptures.
What is the treatment?
The treatment of acute appendicitis is Surgical removal of the appendix (i.e. appendicectomy). This can be done by an open surgery or Laparoscopically. Laparoscopic appendicectomy is performed by making very small cuts (3-5 mm) .
The advantage of laparoscopy is that the patient goes home early after surgery with almost no pain in contrast to open surgery where the patient stays in the hospital for a longer time with pain .
Points to remember
Surgery is best performed if done with in 48 hours of acute attack. If the patient consults a clinician after 2-3 days of attack, a mass may develop at the site of appendix where the intestine get stuck to the appendix. This is than not a safe time for operation and the patient may have to stay on medical treatment in the hospital and then surgery performed after 4-6 weeks.
What problem may occur if not operated?
Development of an abscess in the abdomen.
Gangrene and rupture of appendix with spread of infection to other parts of the body and blood causing risk to life.