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Appendicitis

What is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is a condition in which the appendix becomes inflamed, swollen or infected and filled with pus, causing pain in your lower right abdomen. The appendix is a finger-shaped pouch-like structure attached at the beginning of the large intestine. It is a small tube of tissue that projects from your colon on the lower right side of the abdomen. Although the exact role of the appendix in the body is not clear, studies suggest that it helps in maintaining abdominal immunity by fighting with infections. It is one of the most commonly performed surgical emergencies of the abdomen and as much as 10% of the population develops appendicitis at some point.

formation of Appendicitis

How does it form?

Appendicitis is caused by the blockage of the appendix. The blockage might be caused as a result of the mucus that builds up within the appendix or may be due to the stool that comes into the appendix from the cecum. The blockage may as well be caused by various infections such as virus, bacteria, or parasites in the digestive tract or due to the swelling of the lymphatic tissue that lines the wall of the appendix.

Types of appendicitis

Acute appendicitis

Acute appendicitis

Chronic appendicitis

Chronic appendicitis

Causes

  • Infection in the digestive tract
  • Abdominal or traumatic injury
  • Constipation or buildup of hardened stool
  • Tumor in the appendix
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Increased/enlarged lymphoid follicles
  • Increased number of intestinal worms, also known as ascaris

Symptoms

  • Pain initiating from the belly button and moving towards the lower right side of the abdomen
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Diarrhea

Diagnosis

  • Blood Test: You may be required to go for a blood test in order to find out your white blood cell count which would help the doctor to find indications of a possible infection or inflammation. 
  • Urine Test:  In order to make sure that a kidney stone or urinary tract infection is not causing you any pain or discomfort, the doctor may want you to go through a urinalysis.
  • Abdominal X-Ray: An abdominal imagery test such as an x-ray might be carried out in order to determine if you are suffering from appendicitis or any other possible complications that might be the cause of severe pain or discomfort.
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound is another type of an imagery test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the inside of your abdomen and pelvic region. It helps the doctor to look for the signs of inflammation, abscess formation and other problems in your appendix.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: This type of imagery test uses a combination of X-ray images taken from different angles around your body to create cross-sectional images of the organs inside your abdomen. CT scans are considered to be 90% accurate in diagnosing acute appendicitis. 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan: MRI scans can be as effective as CT scans in detecting a condition of appendicitis. This is a type of non-invasive test that uses magnets and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of the abdomen which allows the doctor to check for abnormalities in the tissues and organs inside the body. This is the most commonly preferred method used in determining the appendix of a pregnant patient.
tests of appendicitis

Severity

Early appendicitis

It is in this stage that you are likely to feel the pain near your navel and it might feel like a cramp and you probably would not be able to pinpoint the affected area. This is usually the first sign of a possible inflammation in your appendix and you might also go through other symptoms like loss of appetite, followed by nausea and vomiting.

Risks & Complications

Although rare, there might be a number of complications involved during an appendectomy that include the following:

  • Reaction of anaesthesia: Before performing an appendix removal surgery, a person might be put under the influence of anaesthesia in order to eliminate the pain which would likely expose them to complications like difficulty in breathing during the surgery, depending upon how their body reacts to it.
  • Bleeding: If a person is suffering from severe appendicitis, it is possible that the appendix might lead to massive rectal bleeding which can be caused by severe gastrointestinal haemorrhage from an appendiceal stump. However, such cases are considered to be extremely rare.
  • Inflammation caused by bursting of appendix: During an appendectomy, the appendix may burst, causing inflammation followed by redness or infection around the abdominal area.
  • Bowel Obstruction: Following an abdominal surgery, there might be subsequent bowel obstruction due to the formation of adhesions around the appendix.
  • Infection of the wound: As cuts or incisions are made in the skin while performing a surgery, it might lead to an infection around the area of the wound, causing symptoms like redness, swelling or bleeding, followed by pain and fever.
  • Injury to the nearby organs: Although least likely, a surgical procedure might cause damage to the nearby organs and tissues which can also lead to the development of a scar tissue and can possibly cause bowel obstruction.

  • Prevention of appendicitis

    Prevention

    Prevention of appendicitis

    By far, there is no proven way to prevent the occurrence of appendicitis. However, you might be able to lower the risk by maintaining a proper and healthy diet that includes adequate amount of fruits, vegetables, oats, brown rice, whole wheat and other whole grains that are rich in fibre.

  • Celebrities who had been diagnosed with appendicitis

    Celebrities diagnosed with appendicitis

    Celebrities who had been diagnosed with appendicitis
    • Katrina Kaif: Popular bollywood actor Katrina Kaif was rushed to a hospital in Mumbai after complaining of suffering from severe stomach ache and persistent fever and had to undergo an emergency appendicitis surgery, back in December, 2009.

     

    • Randeep Hooda: Well known bollywood actor Randeep Hooda underwent an appendicitis operation after suffering from an inflamed appendix. According to reports, he had a severe attack two months before the surgery but chose to delay it by curbing the pain with medicines and antibiotics. But after suffering from an appendicitis attack for the second time, he immediately decided to go for a surgery.

     

    • Shruti Hassan: In the 2014, popular actor and daughter of Kamal Hassan, Shruti Hassan had to be rushed to the hospital after complaining of acute stomach pain before undergoing an appendectomy. 

     

    • KL Rahul: Indian opening wicketkeeper-batsman and captain of Punjab Kings, KL Rahul had been diagnosed with acute appendicitis during the ongoing season of IPL 2021. He had to be rushed to the emergency room for further tests, before being transferred to the hospital.

     

    • Rafael Nadal: Top-ranked Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal underwent a laparoscopic appendix removal surgery after complaining of suffering going through some serious abdominal pain, back in October 2014.

     

  • Myths & facts about appendicitis

    Myths & facts

    Myths & facts about appendicitis

    Myth 1: Exercising immediately after eating can cause appendicitis.

    Fact: No, exercising immediately after eating will not be the cause of appendicitis as it takes longer time for the food to move through the stomach and the small and large intestines.

     

    Myth 2: Surgery is the only method to treat appendicitis.

    Fact: Although surgery is the best method to treat appendicitis, there are a few exceptions for patients with serious medical conditions. Antibiotics can be helpful in some patients for whom surgery is not an option.

     

    Myth 3: You cannot live a normal life without the appendix.

    Fact: You can live a perfectly normal life without the appendix as the human body manages quite well without it.

     

    Myth 4: Exercise and dietary changes are necessary if you get your appendix removed.

    Fact: Certainly not. Exercise and dietary changes are not necessary to live a normal life after an appendectomy.

     

    Myth 5: Laparoscopic appendix removal surgeries are extremely painful.

    Fact: Laparoscopic or keyhole surgeries are barely painful as it involves tiny incisions and also makes the recovery process faster.

  • lesser-known-facts

    Lesser known facts about appendix

    lesser-known-facts
    • The appendix is also referred to as ‘Veriform’ which means resembling or having the form of a worm.
    • Leonardo Da Vinci is believed to have drawn the first ever depiction of the appendix in one of his anatomical drawings back in 1492.
    • The longest appendix to have been removed measured 10.24 inches(26 cm).
    • World’s first ever successful appendectomy was performed by Claudius Amyand on an 11-year-old boy, in the year 1739.
    • Generally, young people between the ages of 10-20 are more likely to be affected by appendicitis.

When to consult a doctor?

If you are suffering from inflamed appendicitis, you will most likely experience a number of signs and symptoms that include sudden intensifying abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, followed by unpleasant bowel habits, nausea and vomiting. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek medical help and consult the doctor without any further delay, as within a day, your symptoms might get a lot worse and involve life-threatening complications.

Questions to ask your doctor

How severe is my appendicitis?
Can appendicitis go away on its own?
Is it possible to treat my appendix without surgery?
What are the dietary restrictions that I should follow?
What are the long-term consequences of an appendectomy?
How do I know if it is gas or appendicitis causing the pain?
What are the chances of my appendicitis returning back after surgery?
How can I treat my appendicitis at home until the appendectomy is performed?

Treatment options & cost

In certain cases of acute appendicitis where the relapse rate is less than 14%, the appendicitis can be treated with antibiotics and might never require surgery. If you have a condition of an uncomplicated appendicitis where the appendix has not yet ruptured and is yet to develop into the perforated stage, you can opt for an oral antibiotic treatment. The doctor might carry out certain medical assessments in order to determine the severity of your condition before considering your eligibility to go for a non-surgical method of treatment.

appendicitis insurance

Insurance coverage

Since the symptoms of a condition of appendicitis can involve severe pain and discomfort, it is medically necessary to treat the condition. Hence, most health insurance providers cover the cost of an appendix removal surgery. To gather information more about the documentation, and claim process you can get in touch with our team and get thorough assistance.

appendicitis insurance
Recovery rate of appendicitis

Recovery rate

The usual recovery time after a laparoscopic appendectomy takes about 1 to 3 weeks at the most and people are generally able to return to work and resume with daily activities within the given time frame whereas, in case of an open appendectomy, the recovery process takes about 3 to 4 weeks before a patient can get back to following a normal daily routine. However, the rate of recovery varies from person to person, depending on the severity of the condition and the response of the patient’s body to the treatment.

Recovery rate of appendicitis

Patient Experience

Experts Say

Latest Research

  • latest-research-shows-that-patients-with-appendicitis-may-not-need-surgery

    Latest research shows that patients with Appendicitis may not need surgery

  • appendicitis-can-be-diagnosed-with-low-dose-ct-scans

    Appendicitis can be diagnosed with low-dose CT scans, claims study

  • study-claims-that-surgery-should-remain-as-mainstay-of-treatment-for-acute-uncomplicated-appendicitis

    Study claims that surgery should remain as mainstay of treatment for acute uncomplicated appendicitis

FAQ’s

What is the difference between appendix and appendicitis?

An appendix is a finger-shaped worm-like structure attached to the end of the large intestine, whereas appendicitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the appendix.

What is stump appendicitis?

Stump appendicitis is a complicated condition of recurrent appendicitis that causes acute inflammation of the residual appendix that remains behind after an appendix removal surgery, or if appendicitis is treated with medication. However, this is a very rare complication and has an occurrence rate of 1 in 50,000 cases.

How much time do you have before your appendix bursts?

The symptoms of appendicitis will vary from person to person and it is extremely important to consult a doctor as soon as possible. An appendix can rupture very quickly within 24-72 hours.

How is appendicitis treated during pregnancy?

An appendix removal surgery is the standard method of treating appendicitis. However, if the condition is not complicated, it can also be diagnosed with a non-operative operative procedure that involves the use of antibiotics.

How do you know if the pain is not caused by appendicitis?

You can determine the difference by paying close attention to the symptoms. The signs of appendicitis include abdominal pain, especially in your lower right side, followed by fever, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Can your appendix burst without you knowing about it?

Certainly not. An appendix does not burst without showing warning signs like abdominal pain, loss of appetite and fever. You should immediately seek medical help as soon as you notice these symptoms.

What is the fastest way to recover from appendix surgery?

Taking proper care and following the doctor’s instructions while maintaining a healthy normal routine that includes adequate rest, physical exercise and a well-balanced diet with high amounts of fibre can result in a faster recovery post the surgery.

Can exercise make appendicitis worse?

Definitely not. Exercise is always considered a healthy way of leading life. In fact, doctors also recommend exercising after an appendix removal surgery.

Will removal of the appendix cause problems?

Certainly not. The actual function of an appendix is yet to be determined. But, research shows that it acts as a storehouse of good bacteria and helps in fighting infections.

When can I go back to work after an appendectomy?

The duration of healing or recovering from an appendix removal surgery depends upon the kind of procedure you have undergone. In case of a laparoscopic appendectomy you can usually get back to work within a week. But, if you had an open appendectomy, it might take you 3-4 weeks to return back to work.

Facts and statistics around Appendicitis

  • Inflammation of the appendix is more common in males than in females.
  • The average length of the appendix is about 8 to 10 centimetres.
  • Study shows that the incidence of appendicitis during the 21st century is higher among the newly industrialised and developing Asian countries.
  • Nearly 7-8% of the Indian population suffer from appendicitis, out of which 20-30% cases are severe. 

 

 

Get The Most Advanced Appendicitis Treatment With Pristyn Care

  • Pristyn Care houses some of the most experienced and well-reputed laparoscopic surgeons in India, who have been performing laparoscopic appendectomy for years with a proven success rate.
  • Pristyn Care is associated with the top hospitals in the country that are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities required to perform advanced surgeries for appendicitis treatment.
  • Laparoscopic Surgeons/General Surgeons working with Pristyn Care do a thorough consultation of every patient in order to understand the health conditions and then determine the minimally invasive approach for  treating appendicitis.
  • To ease out the commuting process for our patients, we also provide free cab facilities to bring you from home to the hospital and help you return back home after the surgery.
  • Pristyn Care strives to make the whole surgical experience for every patient a seamless one. A dedicated ‘care buddy’ is assigned to every patient on the day of the surgery to provide the patient with a hassle-free experience and to take care of all the formalities and paperwork on your behalf.
  • Pristyn Care also provides a free cab facility to ensure proper treatment of the patient. You will be picked up from your home to the hospital and on the completion of your surgery, you will also be dropped off at home.
  • A free-of-cost follow up is provided to every patient within the first seven days of the surgery.

 

How To Book An Appointment With Gastroenterologists At Pristyn Care?

Every surgery at Pristyn Care is done using the most advanced and USFDA-approved medical technology and equipment. Being one of the leading health tech startups in India, dedicated to simplifying the surgical experience of every patient, we provide end-to-end facilities to our patients and give complete assistance in their treatment journey. Pristyn Care ensures that a patient has a care-filled and hassle-free experience. You can book an appointment and get in touch with our doctors virtually from the comfort of your home or anywhere by dialing on the given numbers or by filling up the ‘Book Appointment’ form below. 

     During the initial consultation, the doctor will have a detailed discussion with you and examine the condition of your appendix. After a thorough assessment, the doctor will come up with the best treatment plan for you and take you through all the necessary steps to get your appendicitis treated in the most effective and efficient way. 

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