What is Appendicitis disease?

Those who ask the question, what is appendicitis disease, are lucky to not have experienced the pain associated with this condition. It is a condition wherein the person’s appendix becomes inflamed, swollen and filled with pus.

What is appendicitis

by Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha under CC BY-SA


If a person believes he has appendicitis, he needs to get medical attention immediately. Although not all cases of this disease require immediate surgery, it cannot be fully diagnosed without a doctor or healthcare provider.

This condition commonly occurs in people aged 10 to 30, but it can also occur at any age.

Before delving further into appendicitis, it is important to know about the appendix and its function. The appendix, found at the junction of the small intestine and large intestine, is a four-inch long thin tube that normally sits on the lower right abdomen.

The function of the appendix cannot be fully defined although some people view it as a useless organ and removing it does not pose any health hazards. Others state that it is a storehouse for good bacteria and helps the digestive system after a bout of diarrhea.

Duke University backs the theory of the appendix being the “good bacteria factory”. Their researchers say that the appendix cultivates and preserves the good bacteria that aid in digestion, absorption and elimination of food.

What is Appendicitis – Early Signs and Symptoms

What are the signs, symptoms and major causes of appendicitis?

In order to understand this disease, you need to know the symptoms associated with inflamed appendix:

  • Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Signs of visible swelling.
  • Inability to pass gas.
  • Coughing or wheezing becomes difficult.
  • Loss of appetite.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Despite all appendicitis symptoms in men mentioned above, it can still be a challenge to diagnose appendicitis. This is because some patients do not always experience typical symptoms and may have pain in different parts of the body. Pain is one of the early signs of appendicitis so if there is no appendix pain symptoms are more likely to be mistaken for other ailments.

Other conditions like ectopic pregnancy, kidney stones, Crohn’s disease, gastroenteritis and urinary tract infection have similar symptoms. The doctor will require the patient to undergo a medical examination, CT scan, ultrasound and CBC. An MRI or PET scan is needed when the doctor believes it is a case of a rare tumor of the appendix.

Once the doctor has diagnosed this disease, there are two forms of treatment.

Antibiotics are given to treat a probable infection. They are recommended by the doctor to clear up the infection and shrink the appendix. In the presence of abscess, the doctor can decide to drain it first. Ultimately, surgery will have to be performed at a later date.

Appendectomy is the only solution for appendicitis. The surgery can be one large cut, which is the traditional technique, or it can be performed through a laparoscopy. Laparoscopy is making several small cuts and using a camera to see what’s inside.

Surgery is especially necessary when the appendix has already burst because when it bursts, it can spill bacteria into the person’s abdominal cavity and could lead to peritonitis.

Appendicitis recovery time after Appendectomy

Recovery time after Appendectomy based on age and condition of the patient, but usually it can take up to 1 month. Children usually need care for a longer period.

Symptoms of appendicitis in children are more common than adults, but signs of this condition in young children can be confused with tummy upset such as gas commonly experienced. Nobody knows how to prevent appendicitis but certainly ensuring your children maintain a healthy diet and exercise will lessen the odds of appendix symptoms.

What is appendicitis disease? Now you should be able to answer this question. It is essential to comprehend what appendicitis is because it might just save your life, or that of your loved ones.

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