Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix that can lead to serious medical problems if untreated. It occurs when the appendix becomes blocked, causing a bacterial infection in the appendix and its surrounding area.
Appendicitis is the most common cause of abdominal pain requiring urgent surgery. It affects adults and children and can occur suddenly or gradually over time.
Appendicitis is most likely to occur in those aged 10-30; however, anyone can be at risk. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and loss of appetite.
Diagnosis of Appendicitis can be made through a physical exam, lab tests, an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. Treatment usually involves antibiotics and surgery to remove the appendix.
Complications of Appendicitis can include a leak of abdominal contents, infection, or intestine blockage. If left untreated, medical complications can include sepsis, organ failure, and death.
Appendicitis can be mistaken for other conditions such as food poisoning, urinary tract infection, or Crohn’s disease. Therefore, seeking medical attention is crucial if you experience suspicious abdominal pain.
Appendicitis is more common in males than females and can be triggered by a diet low in fiber, constipation, or a colon blockage.
The appendix can rupture if left untreated, causing infection and inflammation to spread within the abdominal cavity. It can be life-threatening, and immediate medical action is required.
An individual can prevent Appendicitis by maintaining good hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices, such as eating a high-fiber diet and exercising regularly.
Appendectomies, or the surgery to remove the appendix, is one of the most commonly performed inpatient surgeries in the United States.
Complications following appendectomy are rare but can include hernia formation, adhesions, abdominal abscess, and, very rarely, bowel obstruction.