Acute appendicitis is the acute inflammation of the appendix which is a tube like structure found in the first part of the large intestine.
It can be caused due to various reasons:
- Infection of the appendix through blood
- Obstruction because of feces which can cause infection of the appendix.
- Sometimes a tumor in that area.
- It causes intense pain in the abdomen,
- Distention of the abdomen,
- Severe rebound tenderness (pain experienced when the hand pressing the right side of the abdomen is released/removed)
Other symptoms may include:
- Traces of blood in the urine,
- Tenderness in the rectal region,
- Pain during menstruation and so on.
There are certain criterions to diagnose acute appendicitis:
- Raised leukocyte count
- Ultra sound finding of distended or swollen appendix
- Fluid in the right iliac fossa which is the lower right side of the abdomen.
There are basic tests that need to be done to rule out other problems like stones in the ureter or problems from the ovary and tubes in women before diagnosing acute appendicitis.
If the patient has acute appendix, surgery is the only option where the infected appendix is removed altogether. There is no known function of the appendix and the human body can survive in its absence without any obvious side effects.
Sometimes when there is doubt, the patient is put on antibiotics and the pain subsides but in acute appendicitis, surgery is the only option.
Surgery is usually done by laparoscopy which is a key hole method. It is done as a day care surgery 80% of the times where the patient can go home by evening because one has all the advantages of minimal invasive surgery. The patient can get back to work on the third day itself.
If the appendix is perforated then the management of the case changes wherein, the patient has to stay for a longer time in the hospital.
There is no prevention of acute appendicitis and anybody can get it.