All about Appendicitis and its treatment
The appendix is a thin tube in the shape of a finger, that is located in the lower right side of your abdomen. It acts as a point of intersection between the small intestine and the large intestine. The tube is about 3.5 inches long. When the appendix gets inflamed, the condition is known as appendicitis, and it can be quite painful. Several studies indicate that the appendix might be involved in gut immunity, although there is limited evidence to support such a claim. However, it has been medically proven that as an adult, you can lead a comfortable life without an appendix.
Appendicitis is a result of your appendix getting blocked from the inside. Several factors in your digestive tract can contribute to a blocked appendix, including bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Appendicitis may also be due to tumors, although this is quite rare. Appendicitis is more prevalent in men than women, especially those between 15 and 30 years. Family history is also a precipitating factor. Some of the symptoms of appendicitis include pain around your belly button, indigestion, abdominal swelling, and loss of appetite.
Your doctor can diagnose appendicitis through a physical exam, urine test, and blood test. An inflamed appendix must be treated as a medical emergency. Therefore, your doctor will schedule an emergency surgery to relieve the appendix. Otherwise, there is a risk of your appendix getting perforated and bursting. If your appendix bursts, the harmful materials contained are spilled onto your nominal cavity. This could result in an infection of your abdominal cavity, a condition that might prove fatal.
Causes of appendicitis
While the actual cause of appendicitis is not very clear, several factors have been identified as potential triggers of an infection or inflammation of the appendix. Some of these causes include:
- Blocked appendix lining: The lining of your appendix could get blocked and when this happens, your appendix might get infected with bacteria. The rapid multiplication of bacteria contributes to the swelling and inflammation of the appendix. Additionally, the accumulation of bacteria can cause abscess due to the infection. Such an appendix needs to be treated as a matter of urgency to avoid rupturing and proliferation of the infection. A blocked appendix can be due to tumors, hardened stool that has accumulated over time, and intestinal worms.
- Digestive tract infection: If your digestive tract is infected with bacteria, viruses, or parasites, there is the possibility of such infectious agents finding their way into your appendix where they cause inflammation.
- Family history: Genetics also plays an important role. If you come from a family with past cases of appendicitis, you are predisposed to developing the condition.
- Abdominal injury /trauma: Abdominal trauma can also cause acute appendicitis although the relationship between trauma and appendicitis is not very clear.
Other causes include:
- Growth inside your appendix
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Appendicitis is also associated with several compilations including rupturing and abscess.
Signs and symptoms of appendicitis
The most prominent symptom of appendicitis is abdominal tenderness and pain. Such pain comes and goes. Additionally, the symptoms of appendicitis come without any warning. They also tend to get worse with time. Some of these symptoms include:
- Pain around your abdomen: You are also likely to feel such pain whenever you sneeze, more or breathe in
- Passing gas becomes a problem
- Your belly gets swollen
- Vomiting and stomach upset
- Constipation, thus making it hard to have a smooth bowel movement
- Low-grade fever
The site of pain due to appendicitis differ based on where your appendix is situated and your age as well. The pain that is caused by appendicitis can start as a form of mild cramping. At this point, the pain is evident in the area around your belly button. As the pain gets worse, it moves towards your upper abdomen. Pregnant women who have appendicitis report feeling pain that emanates from their upper abdomen. The reason is that being pregnant elevates your appendix to a higher position.
In case you have the above symptoms, it is important that you see your general practitioner immediately. This is because timely diagnosis and treatment of appendicitis will minimize complications that come with the condition, such as abscess and possible infection. Avoid taking any laxatives as these might trigger your appendix to burst.
When you visit your doctors with symptoms that point towards appendicitis, your doctor will start by conducting a physical exam. Your doctor checks if there is any swelling, tenderness, or rigidity in your lower abdomen. Next, the doctor will go through your medical history to determine any precipitating factors, including family history. Based on the outcome of the physical exam, your doctor may also want to order additional tests. Such tests will not only give a clear diagnosis for the condition but also eliminate other suspected causes
Some of the tests that your doctor might order include:
- Pelvic exam: This test allows the doctor to examine your reproductive organs. The exam entails a visual inspection of your vulva, vagina, and cervix. During a pelvic exam, the doctors may also manually inspect your ovaries and uterus.
- Abdominal imaging: The test is aimed at checking if there is any inflammation in your appendix. The test further helps to identify whether the symptoms may be due to such other causes as fecal impaction or abdominal abscess. Examples of the imaging tests that your doctor might order, include abdominal CT scan, ultrasound, and MRI scan.
- Urinalysis: The goal of this urine test is to establish that your symptoms are not a result of kidney stones or infection to your urinary tract.
- Pregnancy test: Ectopic pregnancy minimizes the symptoms of appendicitis. An ectopic pregnancy occurs after a fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tube, as opposed to the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy also constitutes a medical emergency. The test will need a urine sample. Your doctor can then determine whether the fertilized egg is implanted in the fallopian tube through a device known as a transvaginal ultrasound.
How do we treat appendicitis?
The treatment plan depends on your condition. Most cases of appendicitis are, however, treated with the surgical removal of the appendix.
Once your doctor has confirmed you have appendicitis, they may have to conduct emergency surgery to avoid rupturing the appendix. In such a case, our team of medical experts will assist you to get prepared for the procedure. Your surgeon will take you through the various surgical procedures available at our facility, along with the benefits and possible risks of the surgery. You will be actively involved during the entire briefing period so that you are better prepared to make an informed decision. We will assist you in filling all the paperwork that is needed before surgery commences.
Some of the surgical procedures available to treat appendicitis include:
This procedure will see your surgeon make a large incision into your abdominal cavity. The goal is to facilitate the removal of the appendix and cleaning of the abdominal cavity. Open surgery is recommended if:
- There has been an abscess as a result of appendicitis
- The appendix has ruptured leading to the spread of infection
- Your surgeon has identified tumors in your digestive system
- You are pregnant and in your third trimester
- You have undergone multiple abdominal surgeries in the past
Once the appendix has been removed successfully and the abdominal cavity cleaned, your surgeon will then close the incision using regular or dissolvable stitches. In the case of regular stitches, you will need to have these removed after healing. Your surgeon will have the removed appendix checked to rule out cancer. This should not be a cause for alarm as it is just a precautionary measure.
Also known as keyhole surgery, the procedure is quicker in comparison with open surgery. Moreover, keyhole surgery is characterized by a faster rate of recovery. For these reasons, it has gained popularity as the preferred technique for removing an appendix.
During this procedure, your surgeon makes about 3 or 4 incisions in your abdomen. The surgeon will then insert a tube to pump gas into your abdomen via a narrow tube. The goal is to inflate your abdomen, thereby enabling your surgeon to have a clearer picture of the abdomen. It also allows the surgeon the flexibility to work.
The surgeon inserts a laparoscope that has a camera and light mounted on it to send images of your abdomen onto a screen. The surgeon will proceed to remove the appendix using surgical instruments. The procedure takes place under general anesthesia. Thereafter, the surgeon closes up the incision using dissolvable stitches.
This is a minimally invasive procedure that has gained immense popularity in treating appendicitis. The procedure makes use of a laser beam to cut off blood supply to your appendix. The technique also seals any incisions made using laser energy after removing the appendix. You do not have to be admitted overnight in a health care facility before undergoing a laser appendicectomy. You will get discharged within 12 hours after the procedure.
Post-op care and diet
After surgery, you may experience pain around your chest and shoulder for the next 2 days. The pain is associated with carbon dioxide gas that your surgeon uses during the processes. You need not worry as the pain should go away. Once you get discharged, it is important that you keep the incisions dry and clean. Avoid pulling off the thin strips that your surgeon used to cover the incision. They will come off on their own within 7 days. Some of the guidelines are as follows:
- Avoid causing any irritation to the incision as this might lead to an infection. You should, therefore, ensure that you wear loose-fitting clothes.
- Avoid taking a bath until your surgeon has allowed it, or at least until you have healed completely.
- If your surgeon has recommended any prescription to relieve pain, make sure to take such medication as directed.
- Do not engage in any strenuous activities for the next 1-2 weeks after surgery.
- In terms of diet, it is recommended that you eat a low-fat, bland diet. Examples of such foods are mashed potatoes, rice, soft cereals, and low-fat yogurt.
- Increase your daily intake of water to at least 6-8 glasses to avoid constipation.
- A stool softener or laxative may also help to improve your bowel movement, but you need to consult your doctor first.
If you develop the following signs and symptoms, make sure to call your doctor immediately:
- A fever that exceeds 38°C
- If constipation and diarrhea worsen
- In case the pain and swelling on the incisions worsen
- Nausea and Vomiting
Although doctors may prescribe antibiotics as the first line of treatment for appendicitis, surgery is needed within 24 hours following diagnosis. Appendicitis can turn life-threatening if it is left untreated as an infected appendix can rupture and lead to an abscess. Sepsis can also occur which can even be fatal.
Laparoscopic appendectomy is highly recommended by specialist Doctors at Bangalore as a safe and effective procedure for appendicitis.
Positives of laparoscopic appendectomy at Bangalore
- This procedure is minimally invasive
- Reduced pain compared to open appendectomy
- Lesser scarring
- Shorter stay at the hospital
- Quicker recovery process
- Reduced risk of infection
Why goficure for treatment of appendicitis in Bangalore?
goficure offers a one-stop, safe, and holistic cure for the treatment of appendicitis. Patients at Bangalore will experience a sense of relief with not having to undergo the time-consuming task of locating a good specialist, having the correct diagnosis and treatment. Further, costs may hit the roof if you do not know the specialist and hospital that offers cost-effective healthcare for your condition.
To sum up our offering at goficure, we
- Associate you with the best Doctor
- Fix the slot for consultation
- Facilitate proper diagnosis
- Fix the surgery slot
- Take care of transportation, admission, and discharge formalities
- Process your insurance claims
- Schedule your post-operative consultation and care
- Follow up on diet and nutrition
- Aid faster recovery and help get back to normal routine
Complete healthcare solutions cannot get any better than goficure, offering comfort while meting out care.
Exclusive features you get with goficure
1. Dedicated Medi-Pal
A dedicated Medi-Pal is assigned to you. Your Medi-Pal will be your one point contact throughout the treatment and post-op period. They will always be available for you
2. Quick doctor’s appointments
After understanding your concerns, your Medi-Pal will schedule your consultation with a specialist doctor. Your doctor will carry out necessary tests and advise the course of treatment
3. Hassle-free treatment
If you opt to get the surgery done, goficure will take care of it completely. Right from booking your surgery, claiming your insurance to being with you throughout the procedure, your Medi-Pal will do it all
4. Post-op recovery support
Your Medi-Pal would ensure quick recovery. This includes booking your follow up consultations and helping you with doctor-recommended steps for diet & exercise
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