Appendicitis (or epityphlitis ) is a condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix. Appendicitis begins when the opening from the appendix into the cecum becomes blocked. This rock is called a fecalith (literally, a rock of stool). The appendix is a part of the bowel that doesn’t have any known use to humans. It is a small tube about 5-10cm long that is found at the end of the caecum (the small pouch near the start of the large intestine). In the United States, 1 in 15 people gets appendicitis. At other times, the lymphatic tissue in the appendix may swell and block the appendix. The body responds to the invasion by mounting an attack on the bacteria, an attack called inflammation. The cause of such a rupture is unclear, but it may relate to changes that occur in the lymphatic tissue, for example, inflammation, that line the wall of the appendix.) Having a good understanding of this common problem can help to avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room and avoid a delay in diagnosis or a misdiagnosis when your child really does have appendicitis. Because appendicitis is considered to be a surgical emergency, if you think your child has appendicitis, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.
Causes of Appendicitis
The common Causes of Appendicitis :
Viral infection of appendix
Parasitic worm obstruction
Barium obstruction (from a medical test)
Symptoms of Appendicitis
Some Symptoms of Appendicitis :
Pain in the right side of the abdomen
Inability to pass gas
Chills and shaking
Low fever that begins after other symptoms
Anorexia (loss of appetite)
Treatment of Appendicitis
Surgical removal of the appendix (appendectomy) as soon as possible, unless the doctor feels a mass on the outside.
If mass is felt on the outside, patients are treated with IV antibiotics and fluids, and appendectomy is done when the patient is more stable.
Appendicitis is an emergency that must be treated surgically. It cannot be treated at home. Call your doctor immediately if you suspect that your child has appendicitis. However do not give your child any medication to dull the pain without consulting the doctor.
The operation is done under general anaesthesia. After the operation , there could be some pain and discomfort at the operation site. An injection will be given if necessary, to relieve the pain. During the post-operative period, usually the patient is allowed to drink fluids and start a light diet in stages. The total length of stay in hospital varies between patients and can be 3-7 days.
Before surgery a medical check up is required to make sure with the physician to see if you are fit for anaesthesia and the surgery. Simultaneously, a blood test is done and also an ultrasound and possibly an X – ray abdomen, if necessary.