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Everything you need to know about Appendicitis.

Appendicitis is an inflammation of appendix. It can be acute or chronic. If left untreated it can cause the appendix to burst which can cause bacteria to spill into your abdominal cavity.

Appendicitis symptoms.

1. Pain in your lower right belly or pain near your navel that moves lower.

2. Fever of 99-102 degrees.

3. Inability to pass gas.

4. Loss of appetite.

5. Indigestion.

6. Vomiting.

7. Constipation.

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Appendicitis causes.

In many cases the exact cause of appendicitis is unknown. Experts believe it develops when part of the appendix becomes blocked.

Many things can potentially block your appendix, including: a buildup of hardened stool, enlarged lymphoid follicles, tumors etc.

When your appendix becomes blocked, bacteria can multiply inside it. This leads to formation of pus and swelling, which can cause painful pressure in your abdomen.

                       Appendicitis diagnosis.

Medical history. A doctor will ask you specific questions about your symptoms and health history to rule out other health problems. The doctor may want to know when your abdominal pain began, the exact location etc.

Blood test. A doctor draws your blood and sends the sample to the lab for testing; this allows checking for high white blood cell count, which may indicate infection.

Urine test.  Your doctor may want to have urinalysis to make sure that a UTI or kidney stone is not causing your pain.

Imaging tests. Your doctor may recommend an abdominal ultrasound, MRI, CT scan to help confirm appendicitis or find other causes for your pain.

Physical exam. A doctor will touch your abdomen or applying pressure to specific areas in your abdomen.

                     Treatment of Appendicitis.

Treatment involves:

Surgery to remove the appendix(appendectomy).

Appendectomy can be performed as open surgery using one abdominal incision about 2 to 4 inches long (laparotomy). Or surgery can be done through a few small abdominal incisions (laparoscopic surgery). Laparoscopic appendectomy involves insertion of a small surgical tool and a video camera into your abdomen to remove your appendix. In general laparoscopic surgery allows you to recover faster and heal with less pain and scarring. Although it is not for everyone, if your appendix has ruptured and infection has spread beyond the appendix or you have an abscess, you may need an open appendectomy, to allow you doctor clean the abdominal cavity.

Draining an abscess before appendix surgery.

If your appendix has burst and an abscess has formed around it, the abscess may be drained by placing a tube through your skin into the abscess. Appendectomy can be performed several weeks after controlling the infection.

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