The appendix is a thin and small finger like structure, which is attached to the large intestine. The usefulness of this organ has been debated by scientists over a long period of time. While many scientists seem to say that the appendix does not serve any definite purpose, others say the appendix is used to fight against harmful bacteria. Certain scientists even suggest that it may have been of use to our ancestors in order to digest barks, roots and plants.
It can be found in the lower right side of the abdomen, in certain rare cases the appendix can be found in the left side of the abdomen as well. When the appendix bursts, swells up or perforates, it can cause danger to the individual including death. Hence, it needs to be treated as soon as possible.
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Causes of Appendicitis
Most of the times a stomach infection could have spread to the appendix and this could be the primary reason for its perforation. In other cases any kind of an obstruction may be blocking the appendix; this may also cause it to fill with pus.
Symptoms or Signs of Appendicitis
The first and foremost symptom of appendicitis is stomach pain. The exact location of the pain is difficult to figure out. But after sometime the person can feel the pain originating from the right side of the abdomen. But the intensity and the location of the pain differs from person to person, depending on the exact location of the appendix. The individual will realize that the pain felt at such a time, is completely different from other stomach aches. The pain starts around the belly button and moves to the lower right side of the stomach.
Other appendicitis symptoms are
3. Increasing pain in the abdomen region
6. Loss of appetite
7. Abdominal swelling
When to see the doctor?
If the pain in your stomach increases over a period of time, you need to see the doctor. It is important to know that appendicitis can be dangerous and can even lead to death if not treated on time.
How is Appendicitis Diagnosed?
The doctor will do a physical examination of the patient to check if there is any swelling or tenderness in the abdominal area. After that the doctor will take a look at the patient’s medical history in order to determine if there are any other complications. The final step would be a surgery, in order to remove the perforated organ so that it does not burst into the abdomen. Tests such as CT scan, X-ray, blood tests are also taken to know exact location of the appendix, and in order two determine the best way to remove it.
How can Appendicitis be treated?
Surgical intervention before the appendix has burst is the best way to prevent infection. Appendectomy and laparoscopy are the two types of surgery used to treat appendix by completely removing it from the abdomen. If the appendix has burst open, the contents will spill inside the abdomen. In such cases it is essential to take the necessary antibiotics at once so that the infection does not spread. This is a very crucial stage which can even lead to death of the patient, if steps are not taken on time.