Appendicitis

21:53 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Appendicitis?

The appendix is a small, tubular-shaped organ found in the colon in the lower right abdomen. Appendicitis is when said organ is inflamed, which generates pain in the abdomen that increases along with the exacerbation of the inflammatory process, becoming very intense. Pain often manifests initially in the umbilical area and moves to the lower right part of the abdomen.  Appendicitis can appear at any age, but it is most common between 12 and 32 years.  When the appendix becomes obstructed for various reasons, an infection occurs that causes inflammation and the accumulation of pus, making it a medical emergency, since, if immediate treatment is not received, the appendix can burst and cause serious complications that can be deadly such as:
  • Peritonitis: When the appendix bursts, the infection spreads to the abdomen, requiring emergency surgery to remove the appendix and clean the abdomen. 
  • Abdominal abscess: an abscess, which is the accumulation of pus, can form and must be drained with a catheter that remains inserted for a couple of weeks while taking antibiotics to attack the infection and be able to remove the appendix.

Symptoms

  • Sudden pain in the lower right part of the abdomen or that begins in the umbilical area and later moves towards the abdomen, which intensifies when walking, moving, or coughing.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Swollen abdomen.
  • Intestinal gas.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • High fever.
If you have any of these symptoms, go immediately to your doctor, or if the pain is very intense, go to the emergency room. 

Diagnosis and treatment

After analyzing your symptoms and performing a physical examination to see where the pain comes from and if it is appendicitis, your doctor will request a blood and urine test to assess a possible infection, perform an X-ray, ultrasound, tomography, or MRI to observe the status of the appendix and confirm the diagnosis.  The indicated treatment for appendicitis is appendectomy, that is, the surgical removal of the appendix, a procedure that can be carried out with open surgery or laparoscopy. Currently, the latter is the most accepted because it is performed through a few small incisions, which helps recovery and suffer less postoperative pain. However, laparoscopic surgery cannot always be performed, since if there was an abscess or the appendix burst, open surgery will be necessary to be able to perfectly clean the infected abdomen.  After the procedure: Recovery after an appendectomy will take several weeks or even more than a month if your appendix burst or you had an abscess. Due to this, it is important that you follow these recommendations that will help you recover faster and avoid delays in your recovery:
  • Limit your movements and activities: if your procedure was laparoscopy, rest for a week; if it was open surgery, wait two weeks. Your doctor will indicate the way in which you can begin to conduct your activities by dosing your effort. 
  • Precautions when coughing or making movements: press your abdomen with a cushion or pillow to prevent pain or complications in the wound.
  • Move when directed by your doctor: When your doctor authorizes it, get out of bed, move, and walk a little. You can gradually increase the activity.
In our High Specialty Surgery Center, we perform more than 7,000 cutting-edge surgical procedures each year with state-of-the-art technology. Our mission is to provide you with general and highly specialized medical-surgical services with the highest standards of quality and safety comparable with international centers of excellence through a multidisciplinary team that uses evidence-based clinical protocols that guarantee the best assistance and care of your health. The ABC Medical Center has always been known for practicing cutting-edge medicine. Our commitment to innovate keeps us as leaders in the practice of this discipline. Your next surgery in expert and certified hands.

Fuentes:

  • medlineplus.gov
  • mayoclinic.org
  • fesemi.org
  • clevelandclinic.org
  • medigraphic.com
  • Toto-Morales JG, Ramos-Aranda J, Quijano-Orvañanos F, et al. Manejo conservador en un paciente con apendicitis aguda complicada. Cir Gen. 2020;42(3):210-214. doi:10.35366/99961. 
  • de Quesada SL, Ival PM, González MCL. La escala de Alvarado como recurso clínico para el diagnóstico de la apendicitis aguda. Revista Cubana de Cirugía. 2015;54(2):121-128.
  • Salom A, Perini MJ, Cubas S. Apendicectomía laparoscópica: nuestra experiencia. Rev Latinoam Cir. 2014;4(2):70-73.
  • Dubón PMC, Ortiz FA. Apendicitis aguda, su diagnóstico y tratamiento. Rev Fac Med UNAM . 2014;57(4):51-57.
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