An appendicitis is a medical condition that can potentially progress as a medical emergency situation the moment the appendix ruptures and causes the spread of infection in the body. The appendix is that thin tube located at the cecum of the large intestine at the right side of the abdomen. When it becomes inflamed, it becomes a condition called appendicitis. Immediate management and treatment is necessary at the initial stage of the disease to prevent potential rupture that may cause the spread of the fecal matter that remains lodged inside the appendix.
What are the symptoms of appendicitis?
Appendicitis may initially manifest as a mild abdominal cramping. It often becomes steady and severe with time and you will not necessarily notice changes in your bowel habits. Aside from stomach pain, the following are the other symptoms of appendicitis:
- Dull pain centered round the navel, which progresses as a sharp pain in the lower side of the abdomen
- Pain in the lower back and radiates to the back muscles of the upper legs and less commonly on the rectum
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Loss of appetite
How is appendicitis treated?
The treatment of appendicitis varies. In rare cases, appendicitis gets better with antibiotics and a liquid diet as treatments. In most cases, however, surgery may be necessary. If you have an abscess in your appendix that has not been ruptured, you will only be treated with antibiotics and the pus will be drained using a tube that is attached to the skin. Your appendix will be taken after the infection has been resolved. The surgery performed to remove the appendix is called appendectomy.
Antibiotic therapy is one of the classic treatment for appendicitis. Currently, it has been used as an adjunct for appendectomy and is not widely used as a stand-alone treatment regimen. This is usually used for patients who are too weak to have surgery.
First aid response to symptoms
While an appendectomy is immediately needed when the appendix already ruptures, causing danger of the spread of infection, you can help by keeping the person relax while getting help. Record the duration of the pain and find the exact location. Keep the person lying down if the position helps to lessen the pain. You can also give a painkiller to help relieve the person’s suffering. Make sure not to give the person caffeinated drink or milk.
Better Health Channel. Appendicitis. Retrieved on June 27, 2014 from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Appendicitis.