Appendicitis - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes and Treatment

The appendix is a finger-sized tube that connects the big and small intestines. It has no known purpose, but if it becomes inflamed or infected (appendicitis), you will require emergency treatment. An inflamed appendix can produce intermittent pain. It could also break open (rupture), causing extreme discomfort. Bacteria can spread through the abdominal cavity if the appendix ruptures. These bacteria cause peritonitis, a potentially fatal infection.

Who is at risk of developing appendicitis?

Appendicitis can occur at any age, but it is most frequent in persons in their twenties and thirties. Appendicitis is most common in children during their tween or teen years.

What are the different types of appendicitis?

Acute appendicitis is defined as abdominal discomfort caused by a ruptured appendix.

Sub-Acute Appendicitis - The pain of acute appendicitis usually goes away on its own.

Chronic Appendicitis – Scarring and thickening of the walls of an old, healed acute appendicitis.

Recurrent Appendicitis – Painful episodes that reoccur after they have subsided.

Non-Obstructive Appendicitis – Although not life-threatening, it may induce swelling and thickening of the membrane that surrounds all abdominal organs in some situations. This is known as peritonitis.

What is the cause of appendicitis?

It is unknown what causes appendicitis. Something causes your appendix to become inflamed (irritated and swollen) or infected. Possible causes include:

  • Trauma or injury to the abdomen.
  • Blockage at the junction of the appendix and the intestines.
  • Infection of the digestive tract.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Growths within the appendix
  • Symptoms
  • People complain of significant soreness around their abdomen.
  • Appendicitis can cause a loss of appetite.
  • High fever is also a warning indication.
  • Diarrhea or constipation for an extended period of time is another common symptom.
  • Appendicitis patients frequently experience nausea and fever.
  • People also experience severe pain while urinating.
  • Diagnosis

    Physical examination You will discuss your symptoms and get a physical examination. A blood test to check for infection may be ordered by your doctor. You may also be subjected to an imaging scan. Any of the following tests may reveal evidence of a blockage, inflammation, or organ rupture:

    Computed tomography (CT)

    Cross-sections of the body are depicted on computed tomography (CT) images. They make use of X-rays as well as computer technology.

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates detailed images of abdominal organs by using radio waves and magnets.

    An abdominal ultrasound provides images of organs using high-frequency sound waves.

    What are the complications of appendicitis?

    An infection caused by a burst appendix can lead to serious disease and even death. Among the complications are:

    Abscess: An appendicular abscess, or a pocket of infected pus, may form. Your doctor will insert drainage tubes into your abdomen. Before surgery, these tubes drain fluid from the abscess. It is possible that the drainage procedure will take a week or more. Antibiotics are taken during this time to combat infection. After the abscess has been removed, you will undergo surgery to remove the appendix.

    Infection of the abdomen: Peritonitis can be fatal if the infection spreads throughout the abdomen. The ruptured appendix is removed and the infection is treated via abdominal surgery (laparotomy).

    Sepsis occurs when bacteria from a ruptured appendix enter the bloodstream. If it develops, it can lead to a dangerous illness known as sepsis. Many of your organs become inflamed as a result of sepsis. It can be deadly. It necessitates hospitalization and the use of powerful antibiotics.


    Appendicitis treatment is simple, but you must have appendectomy surgery because it is the only way to treat this medical condition. After appendicitis, appendix removal is required to reduce the risk of further problems.

    If the appendix ruptures, surgery must be performed immediately. If the appendix has not ruptured, the accumulated fluid and obstruction are removed using cutting-edge technology, followed by surgery.

    There are two types of operations available to treat appendicitis — open surgery and laparoscopic surgery.

    Conventional surgery — If the appendix has ruptured, it is vital to remove the entire cavity formed by such a circumstance, as this could quickly lead to other difficulties. The surgeon makes a big incision in order to simply and thoroughly remove the whole abdominal cavity. Appendicitis surgery is also beneficial for those who have digestive system malignancies.

    Laparoscopy – Laparoscopy, also known as minimally invasive surgery or keyhole/Band-Aid surgery, is used to minimize huge incisions that take a long time to heal. In this surgery, the surgeon employs a very thin tube (laparoscope) containing a tiny camera with its own lights inside the abdomen.

    Open surgery is recommended when the appendix has ruptured, the infection has moved to the abdomen, or there is an abscess. The appendix is removed with a single big cut or incision in the abdomen.

    Abscess drainage When the appendix bursts and an abscess forms around it, the doctor must drain the pus from the body and treat the infection with an antibiotic before performing open surgery. The procedure can be performed once the infection has been resolved.

    What is the prognosis for patients suffering from appendicitis?

    Because the appendix serves no known purpose, you should not notice any difference after having it removed surgically. Some patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery are able to return home the same day or within 24 hours. Most people are able to resume their normal activities within two to three weeks.

    You'll need longer time in the hospital (perhaps up to a week) to recover after open surgery. If your appendix ruptures, you may require long-term antibiotics to completely clear the infection. It is possible that your recovery will take six weeks or longer.