Appendicitis or inflammation of the appendix is a medical emergency. In most cases, it requires surgery to remove the appendix and prevent further infection.
What’s the function of the appendix and where is it located?
Your appendix is that 4-inch long, thin tube, found in your lower right abdomen. It’s sitting on that spot where the small intestine meets the large intestine.
It’s still unclear what exactly is the function of the appendix. Some people believe it’s a storehouse for good bacteria while others theorized that it’s nothing but just a remnant of our evolutionary past.
What causes appendicitis?
Appendicitis occurs when the lining of the appendix is blocked, often by stool, a foreign body, or cancer.
This blockage can cause bacteria to multiply, eventually causing the appendix to get inflamed. When left untreated, the appendix could rupture. And this can be a life-threatening situation.
How to know if you have appendicitis?
Pain is the most common symptom of appendicitis. This pain could be sudden and may start on the right side of the lower abdomen. It may also begin on the navel and shift on the lower right abdomen. The pain worsens when you cough, walk, or with any jarring movement.
Aside from pain, there can also be nausea and vomiting, low-grade fever, abdominal bloating, and constipation, and diarrhea.
What to do if you suspect that you have appendicitis?
If you suspect you have appendicitis, it’s important to see a doctor immediately.
Appendicitis can have serious, life-threatening complications like ruptured appendix and development of abscess (a pocket of infection).
When abscess develops, the doctor would have to drain the pus first and clear the infection before proceeding with appendectomy (the surgical removal of the appendix).
Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland, TN, has surgeons who have years of experience in surgically treating appendicitis. To request an appointment with a surgeon at one of our Knoxville or Cleveland offices, visit us online.