Although it sounds scary, appendicitis is considered to be a prevalent condition. According to the National Health Service, in the UK alone, around 40,000 people are admitted each year for appendicitis. Additionally, in the US, 1 out of 20 people gets appendicitis.

Appendicitis itself is an inflammation of the appendix. It is caused by the invasion of bacteria in the wall of the appendix. Although the function of the appendix in our body is still a matter of debate, it’s a fact that humans can live without it.

Usually, appendicitis may occur in the age between 10 years old and 30 years old. Moreover, it requires minor surgery to treat appendicitis by removing the appendix altogether.

Early Signs of Appendicitis

While appendicitis is common, if left untreated it can be fatal. It is important to notice the first symptoms of appendicitis to prevent unnecessary complications.

Here are the early signs of appendicitis that you should know:

  • Sudden dull pain in the lower right abdomen that becomes sharp after a while
  • Sudden nausea feeling right after the abdominal pain
  • Mild fever with an average body temperature between 37 Celsius and 38 Celsius.
  • Trouble passing gas due to the inflammation that obstructs your bowel system
  • Diarrhoea and sudden irregular change in appetite

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good chance that you have appendicitis. The sooner you see a doctor the better because of the growing swell in the appendix that will eventually burst and ooze infectious substance and affect surrounding organs.

Causes of Appendicitis

We know that appendicitis occurs when the appendix opening is blocked. What causes the blockage? The blockage may happen due to thick mucus that builds up around the wall of the appendix opening.

Another reason that may cause the blockage around the appendix opening is the lymphatic tissue in the appendix that got swollen.

After the blockage happens, harmful bacteria can usually be found in the area and infect the wall of appendix causing an inflammation.

Treatment of Appendicitis

Treatment of appendicitis requires surgery. The type of surgery needed depends on how severe your appendicitis is.

Appendicitis that has gotten worse or even ruptured is usually treated with open appendectomy. This procedure requires your surgeon to make a 5cm to the 10cm incision on your lower right abdomen. Your surgeon will then drain the pus in your cavity and clean it before tying the appendix and close up.

The early set of appendicitis often requires laparoscopic appendectomy. During this procedure, your surgeon will make a few small incisions to insert a special tool called laparoscope. A laparoscope is a thin and long tube that serves as a video camera. This tool allows your surgeon to monitor and the inside of your abdomen and eventually guides the surgeon during the surgery.

Generally, laparoscopic appendectomy heals faster, and it is less painful than an open appendectomy.

For more information about appendicitis, you may consult medical professionals through the  Okadoc. The application enables you to communicate with your doctor anywhere and anytime.