Appendicitis is an extremely painful condition affecting the lower right side of the abdomen (belly). It is caused by inflammation of the appendix.
The appendix is a small finger-shaped organ located at one end of the cecum of the large intestine and attached by its root.
Doctors can diagnose depression by conducting a physical exam, collecting blood and urine samples, and conducting imaging tests like an ultrasound or CT scan.
Myth: You Can Outgrow It
The appendix is a finger-shaped, small tube found attached to the first part of the large intestine (caecum) in the lower right side of the abdomen. Although its exact function remains unknown, its presence likely aids digestion for other species as well as humans; inflammation may result and cause abdominal pain.
People typically experience abdominal discomfort around their belly button or in their upper mid-section, then moving down right lower abdomen toward McBurney point or just above it. Some also report low-grade fever, loss of appetite and feeling generally unwell with symptoms resembling McBurney point syndrome.
Untreated burst appendix can spread infection throughout the body and quickly make you very ill, often leading to abscesses that could prove life-threatening. Furthermore, pain may spread to various areas across your belly and become generalized abdominal discomfort.
Appendicitis pain may dissipate on its own without treatment; this does not indicate your appendix has healed itself; rather, this could indicate an obstruction is clearing from the bowels or that an infection that triggered lymphoid hyperplasia has subsided for whatever reason.
Appendicitis is a medical emergency and should be treated in hospital immediately. If symptoms are severe and your physician suspects a ruptured appendix, antibiotics may be administered in order to stop further infection spreading.
No one knows when or why an appendix may become inflamed with appendicitis; it affects people of all ages; however, those between 10-30 years old tend to experience it most often and men are more prone than women to developing the condition.
Avoiding appendicitis may not be possible, but eating healthy, exercising regularly and quitting smoking are all ways you can stay healthier overall. If you have concerns about your health, consult with a primary care provider or specialist for evaluation. An inflamed appendix generally needs to be surgically removed; fortunately today more than half of appendectomies can now be performed laparoscopically with only small incisions required – an encouraging trend!
Myth: You Can Treat It With Antibiotics
Apendicitis is commonly thought of as being treated by antibiotics; however, if your doctor suspects you of having it they’ll prefer an appendectomy as soon as possible to protect the appendix from rupture and ensure your health remains optimal. Appenectomy surgery is one of the safest surgeries available today.
Procedures may involve laparoscopes or open surgery techniques. Following either method, rest will likely be necessary; however, many patients return to their regular lives fairly soon after having gone through treatment.
Your doctor will need to take some blood and urine samples in order to check for signs of infection, as well as perform an ultrasound of your abdomen for a better view of organs. If they suspect appendicitis, pain relievers will probably be provided before performing surgery on you.
While there’s no surefire way to prevent appendicitis, eating more fruits and vegetables can lower your risk. Doing this helps limit exposure to too much calcium – one of the key contributors of appendicitis.
According to a 2020 New England Journal of Medicine study titled Comparing Outcomes of Antibiotic Drugs and Appendectomy (CODA), antibiotic use to treat appendicitis may not always be necessary. CODA included 1,552 people suspected of appendicitis; some underwent surgery while others received a 10-day course of antibiotics first.
Results indicated that those receiving antibiotics early were 39% less likely to experience complications such as ruptured appendix or abscess, as well as missing less days from work and school than those having their appendix surgically removed.
Notably, oral antibiotics must only be obtained with a valid valid valid prescription from your healthcare provider in order to ensure you take the appropriate dose that’s safe for your individual health situation.
Although doctors don’t fully understand what causes appendicitis, most believe it stems from our immune systems’ response to bacteria in the environment. Our appendix acts like an Ark for good bacteria to survive once floodwaters subside.
Myth: You Can Avoid Surgery
Many people believe the only effective way to treat appendicitis is with surgery, but other approaches exist for uncomplicated forms that could prove more cost-effective and safer.
Once upon a time, doctors would treat appendicitis with needle drainage and antibiotics; however, recent research shows this method to be inferior and is no longer the preferred treatment approach. A recent study demonstrated this fact by showing patients who underwent needle draining first were twice as likely to experience their appendix returning and almost 42 percent more likely to form an abscess than those who went straight for surgery.
If you are diagnosed with appendicitis, a physical exam and blood tests will be done in order to understand what’s causing your symptoms. Next step will be having either a CT scan or ultrasound done; additionally CAT scanning might be needed if symptoms are severe or doctors believe there may be more going on than just inflammation of the appendix.
Appendicitis can first manifest itself by pain in your abdomen, often around your belly button. At first this pain may start mildly but quickly become sharper over a short time frame. People may also experience vomiting, loss of appetite and low-grade fever in early stages; initially however it can be difficult to distinguish if this discomfort stems from appendicitis alone since other stomachaches could also be mimicked by it.
Once it is determined that it is appendicitis, your physician will arrange an emergency surgery procedure to have the organ removed safely and quickly. General anesthesia will ensure a pain-free experience during this quick procedure.
Most often, your surgeon will extract your entire appendix; however, in certain instances they might decide that leaving some parts behind could restore bacteria to your digestive tract post diarrheal illness and leave these normal organs alone. There’s an idea that suggests an appendix helps replenish intestinal bacteria levels after diarrheal illnesses have subsided.
Myth: CT Scan Is Safe
An imaging CT scan is typically safe, helping your doctor make accurate diagnoses. But the experience may cause anxiety due to radiation. While CT scanners do use some radiation, its dose is much smaller compared to that used by X-rays, MRIs or arthrography devices.
No matter your concerns regarding radiation exposure or whether the exam will uncover something and lead to further procedures, it is crucial that you address them with your physician prior to scheduling an exam. One effective method of doing so would be creating a list of your inquiries before going in for your appointment, then bringing this along when meeting with them about potential risks or benefits associated with their procedures.
Some questions to expect include what food to eat before and during an examination; what kind of examination to expect; and if you have allergies (for instance iodine allergy and medications containing it). In such an instance, your physician may want to monitor you closely following an exam in order to prevent an allergic reaction due to contrast dye used to highlight areas being studied.
If you’re worried about the safety of a CT scan, keep in mind that background radiation exposure poses an extremely small risk of cancer; your doctors understand this and will carefully consider its benefits against potential risks before prescribing one for you.
Studies have demonstrated that lung cancer screening with low-dose CT poses only a minimal risk to current and former smokers; its benefit of early detection more than outweighs this small risk.
Many myths surrounding CT scanning and radiation exposure are falsehoods; therefore, it’s crucial for patients to gain an understanding of its risks and benefits in order to trust in the advice of their doctors. If any concerns arise regarding radiation exposure from scanning services like Ganesh Diagnostics CT Scans (based out of San Jose), further assistance can always be found by reaching out.