Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix. It is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain resulting in surgery.
The appendix is a little finger-shaped pouch connected to the intestine. It is located in the lower right abdomen.
Appendicitis is due to the blockage of the appendix which results from buildup of hardened stool, intestinal worms, enlarged lymphoid follicles, traumatic injury and tumours.
The risk factors are being young, male gender and family history.
Appendicitis can either be a chronic, long-lasting infection or an acute one. Acute appendicitis is a severe and sudden case of appendicitis. It is most commonly found in children and young adults between the ages of 10 to 30 years. It is also more frequent in males than females. Acute appendicitis requires immediate medical attention.
Chronic appendicitis is less common than acute appendicitis and has mild symptoms. Meanwhile, the symptoms may disappear before reappearing again after some weeks, months or years. It is usually difficult to diagnose until it develops into an acute case.
The symptoms of appendicitis might begin as mild cramping in the upper abdomen which moves to the lower right of the abdomen. Other symptoms are indigestion, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, diarrhoea, abdominal swelling, constipation, abdominal bloating and flatulence.
The complications of appendicitis are peritonitis, sepsis and abscesses.
The laboratory diagnosis of appendicitis is through urine microscopy and culture, Complete Blood Count, C-reactive protein test and Urinalysis.
Appendicitis can be treated with surgery, antibiotics and IV fluids.
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