The appendix is small, tube like structure attached to first part of large intestine.
The appendix is a small pouch, normally about 5 to 10 cm long (2 to 4 ins) and quite thin
The appendix has no known function in humans. Evidence suggests that our evolutionary ancestors used their appendixes to digest tough food like tree bark, but we don’t use ours in digestion now. Whether the appendix has a function or not, it can be removed without any ill effects.
WHAT IS APPENDICITIS?
It refers to the condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix.
- If untreated, mortality is high, mainly because of the risk of rupture leading to infection and inflammation of the intestinal lining (peritoneum).
- If the blockage is not treated, the appendix can burst and spread infection into the abdomen. This causes a condition called peritonitis.
- Appendicitis is a medical emergency. Treatment almost always involves removing the appendix. Anyone can get appendicitis, but it is more common among people between 10 to 30 years old.
- The main symptom is pain in the abdomen. often on the right side.
- Swelling in the abdomen.
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Inability to pass gas
- Low fever
- Not everyone with appendicitis has all these symptoms.
An obstruction. Food waste or a hard piece of stool (fecal stone) can block the opening of the cavity that runs the length of your appendix.
An infection. Appendicitis may also follow an infection, such as a gastrointestinal viral infection, or it may result from other types of inflammation.
In both cases, bacteria inside the appendix multiply rapidly, causing the appendix to become inflamed, swollen and filled with pus. If not treated promptly, the appendix can rupture.
- Appendix become obstructed.
- Increase intra-luminal pressure.
- Decrease venous drainage, Thrombosis, Edema, and Bacterial Invasion of Bowel Wall.
- Appendix become increasingly hyperemic, warm and covered with exudate.
- Perforation and gangrene of appendix.
TREATMENT & MANAGEMENT
Medical examination: The original test for appendicitis, a simple examination of the belly remains important in making the diagnosis. Changes in the abdominal exam help doctors tell if appendicitis is progressing, as well.
CT scan (computed tomography): A CT scanner uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images. In appendicitis, CT scans can show the inflamed appendix, and whether it has ruptured.
Ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to detect signs of appendicitis, such as a swollen appendix.
Complete blood count (CBC): An increased number of white blood cells — a sign of infection and inflammation — are often seen on blood tests during appendicitis.
Surgery to remove the appendix, which is called an appendectomy, is the standard treatment for appendicitis.
If your appendix bursts, it releases pus to other parts of the body, which can cause an infection in the abdomen, called peritonitis.
Peritonitis is the painful swelling of the abdomen area around the stomach and liver. The condition causes your normal bowel movements to stop and your bowel to become blocked.
- Severe abdominal pain.
- A fever of 38ºC (100.4ºF) or more.
- A rapid heartbeat
- If peritonitis is not treated immediately it can cause long-term problems and may even be fatal.
Studies have shown that the incidence of appendicitis is a lot lower in countries where a high-fiber diet is common. It is not known exactly why this is, but one possible reason is that fiber makes our stools softer, reducing the chances of them getting stuck in the appendix.
Foods high in fiber include:
Wholegrain cereals, bread, rice.
Vegetables, such as carrots
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