If untreated it can cause perforation or sepsis, and may even cause death.

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Appendicitis 

One of the major common surgical emergencies and a leading cause of abdominal pain is Appendicitis. It is an inflammation of the inner lining of the vermiform appendix that spreads to its other parts. The duration of symptoms is less than 48 hours in approximately 80% of adults but tends to be longer in elderly persons and in those with perforation.

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Appendicitis may occur for several reasons, such as an infection of the appendix, but the most important factor is the obstruction of the appendiceal lumen. If untreated, appendicitis has the potential for severe complications, including perforation or sepsis, and may even cause death.

In Asian and African countries, the incidence of acute appendicitis is probably lower because of the dietary habits of the inhabitants of these geographic areas. The incidence of appendicitis is lower in cultures with a higher intake of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is thought to decrease the viscosity of feces, decrease bowel transit time, and discourage formation of fecaliths, which predispose individuals to obstructions of the appendiceal lumen.

Signs and symptoms

There is no clear cut indication; however, studies have shown that the following are the associated symptoms of appendicitis:

  • Pain around the bellybutton

  • Lower right side abdominal pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation and inability to pass gas

  • Abdominal swelling and pain


Physical examination to look for tenderness in the lower right quadrant of your abdomen. In a pregnant woman,, the pain may be higher. If perforation occurs, your stomach may become hard and swollen.

Urine test to rule out a urinary tract infection or kidney stone.

Pelvic examination

Abdominal imaging can determine if you have an abscess or other complications. This may be done with an X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan. Chest X-ray can rule out right lower lobe pneumonia. This sometimes has symptoms similar to appendicitis.

What are the treatment options for appendicitis?

Treatment for appendicitis varies. In rare cases, appendicitis may get better without surgery. Treatment might involve only antibiotics and a liquid diet. In most cases, however, surgery will be necessary. The type of surgery will depend on the details of your case.

If you have an abscess that hasn’t ruptured, you may receive antibiotics first. Your doctor will then drain your abscess using a tube placed through your skin. Surgery will remove your appendix after you have received treatment for the infection. If you have a ruptured abscess or appendix, surgery may be necessary right away. Surgery to remove the appendix is known as an appendectomy.

Laparoscopy is less invasive, making the recovery time shorter. However, open surgery may be necessary if you have an abscess or peritonitis.

How can I prevent appendicitis?

Appendicitis is not preventable, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk. It is less common in people who have diets high in fiber. Eating a healthy diet that contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables increases your fiber intake.

Surgical operation known as appendectomy remains the best curative management of appendicitis.


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