An inflammation of the appendix is called Appendicitis.

The appendix is a small, tube-shaped pouch attached to your large intestine. It’s located in the lower right side of your abdomen. The exact purpose of the appendix isn’t known. However, it’s believed that it may help us recover from diarrhea, inflammation, and infections of the small and large intestines. These may sound like important functions, but the body can still function properly without an appendix

Appendicitis is a medical emergency that requires prompt surgery to remove the appendix. Left untreated, an inflamed appendix will eventually burst, or perforate, spilling infectious materials into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to peritonitis, a serious inflammation of the abdominal cavity's lining (the peritoneum) that can be fatal unless it is treated quickly with strong antibiotics. ☹️

All cases of appendicitis are treated as emergencies, requiring surgery.

Causes for Appendicitis

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes blocked, often by stool, a foreign body, or cancer. Blockage may also occur from infection, since the appendix swells in response to any infection in the body.

Symptoms of Appendicitis
  • Usually the first sign is dull pain near the navel or the upper abdomen that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen. 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and /or vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fever of 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Painful urination
  • Severe cramps
  • Constipation or diarrhea with gas
Do not eat, drink, or use any pain remedies, antacids, laxatives, or heating pads, which can cause an inflamed appendix to rupture.


Diagnosing appendicitis is bit tricky. Symptoms of appendicitis are frequently vague or extremely similar to some other diseases like ailments, including gallbladder problems, bladder or urinary tract infection, Crohn's disease, gastritis, intestinal infection, and ovary problems.

Usually following tests are used to make the diagnosis of appendicitis
  • Abdominal exam to detect inflammation
  • Urine test to rule out a urinary tract infection
  • Rectal exam
  • Blood test to see if your body is fighting infection
  • CT scans and/or ultrasound

The standard treatment for appendicitis is to remove the appendix, which is called an appendectomy.

Generally, if appendicitis is suspected, doctors tend to err on the side of safety and quickly remove the appendix to avoid its rupture.

But using antibiotics may eliminate the need for surgery for acute appendicitis.


There are two types of appendectomy
  1. Open appendectomy
  2. laparoscopic appendectomy.
The type of surgery depends on several factors, including the severity of your appendicitis and your medical history.

Open Appendectomy
An open appendectomy if your appendix has ruptured and the infection has spread to other organs. It’s also the preferred option for people who have had abdominal surgery in the past. During an open appendectomy, a surgeon makes one incision in the lower right side of the abdomen. Appendix is removed and the wound is closed with stiches. This procedure allows to clean the abdominal cavity if your appendix has burst.

Laparoscopic Appendectomy
Laparoscopic surgery is usually the best option for older adults and people who are overweight. It has fewer risks than an open appendectomy procedure, and generally has a shorter recovery time. During a laparoscopic appendectomy, a surgeon accesses the appendix through a few small incisions in your abdomen. A small, narrow tube called a cannula will then be inserted. The cannula is used to inflate your abdomen with carbon dioxide gas. This gas allows the surgeon to see your appendix more clearly. Once the abdomen is inflated, an instrument called a laparoscope will be inserted through the incision.

The laparoscope is a long, thin tube with a high-intensity light and a high-resolution camera at the front. The camera will display the images on a screen, allowing the surgeon to see inside your abdomen and guide the instruments. When the appendix is found, it will be tied off with stiches and removed. The small incisions are then cleaned, closed, and dressed.

Thanks for reading Appendicitis

« Prev Post