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Appendicitis is one of the most common factors responsible for abdominal pain, which can lead to surgery. More than 5 percent of people in the US experience appendicitis at some point. However, the pain most often occurs in people aged between 10 and 30.
Appendicitis is the inflammation of a 3.5-inch long appendix tube that protrudes from the large intestine. The condition calls for an immediate treatment, most probably surgery to remove the appendix.
Leaving an inflamed appendix untreated will cause the tube to burst. Thus, the inflamed appendix may start spilling infectious bacteria into the abdominal cavity. And, it may prove fatal sometimes.
Usually, the first sign of appendicitis is a sudden pain that begins in the upper abdomen and radiates to the lower right portion of the abdomen. The pain may become excruciating when you cough or walk.
The inflamed appendix may cause you to lose appetite, or you may feel nausea or vomiting as soon as the pain begins. Abdominal bloating and low-grade fever, usually 99 – 102 Fahrenheit, may also serve as signs of the inflammation of appendix.
The other symptoms of appendicitis include severe cramps, dull or sharp pain in the back, rectum, or the lower or upper abdomen.
While the root cause of appendicitis remains unknown in most of the cases, doctors believe that inflammation occurs when the appendix is blocked. The obstruction in the lining may occur due to hardened stool, intestinal worms, enlarged lymphoid follicles or cancer.
The blockage in the appendix results in an infection, which may multiply the bacteria. Thus, it leads to the swelling and formation of pus in the appendix, thereby causing inflammation. You may also feel severe pain in the abdominal region, and if not treated timely, the appendix may rupture.
The symptoms of appendicitis are often confused with that of the gallbladder diseases, bladder or urine infection, intestinal infection, gastritis, and ovary problems. This makes the diagnosis of appendicitis tricky. Your doctor may conduct these tests for diagnosing the inflammation in the appendix.
The standard treatment for all appendicitis is appendectomy, i.e., the removal of appendicitis. The doctor may either perform open surgery or a laparoscopic surgery depending on the severity of the problem.
During the open surgery, the doctor makes an incision, which is usually 2 to 4 inches long. Doctors perform this type of surgery when the appendix has ruptured, and an excess abscess or puss has formed around it. Thus, the doctor drains the fluid and cleans the abdominal cavity.
Once the infection is under control, the doctor may perform minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon will use some incisions to insert surgical instruments and a video camera into the abdominal region to remove the appendix.
Do not neglect the pain that you experience in your abdomen. It may be a sign of an inflamed appendix. If you do not go for a treatment promptly, it may cause your appendix to rupture. Contact Lenox Hill Surgeons in NYC today and book an appointment with the experts of minimally invasive surgery.
The exact purpose of the appendix is relatively unknown even to modern science. Some experts believe it to be a sort of “home” for healthy bacteria that can be used to fight off dangerous invading cells. Other believe that the appendix does nothing, that it is simply a mass that no longer has a physical function in our daily lives. Regardless of what the appendix is truly intended for, at times it can be inflamed and may require surgical removal.
As mentioned above, we are still a little unclear on many aspects of the functions of the appendix. In other organs, it can be clear that the organ needs to be removed when it fails to function properly. This observation cannot be made effectively for the appendix. However, there are a few specific cases in which it is clear that the removal of the appendix would be beneficial. One common case is appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix. Although we don’t know exactly what causes appendicitis, this inflammation is clear evidence of a potential issue in the body. It is usually a company by discomfort or pain and the lower right quadrant of the abdominal cavity. Other signs of appendicitis include stomach pain, vomiting, and nausea.
Yet another reason that the appendix may need to be removed is in cases of tumor growth. Should a tumor grow on the appendix and be cancerous, it could potentially metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body. Studies have shown little to no danger or long-term deficits associated with removal of the appendix. Therefore, it is typically preferred to remove the appendix when there is a risk of cancer. This can serve to protect the rest of the body.
Prior to appendix surgery, you will have a long discussion with your doctor about your specific case. For example, we will want to know what symptoms you have been having, if you have a family history of any number of ailments, the current medications you are taking, and more. your personal preference with regard to surgical procedures and desired outcomes must also be discussed.
Many specific diagnostic tests can be completed to ensure that the appendix is the culprit. For example, CT scans and ultrasound measures can be used to determine swelling and inflammation of the appendix, a sure sign of infection. On the day of the surgery, it will be important to avoid eating or drinking prior to the surgery. It is generally recommended that eating and drinking be done more than 8 hours prior to the surgery, but your surgeon will have more specific instructions for you. During the surgery itself, we will do what we do best and remove the inflamed or damaged tissue.
After the surgery, you will most likely first notice relief from the pain where your appendix used to be. However, it is still common for some incision and surgical site pain shortly after surgery. This discomfort will subside. While healing from appendix surgery, it will be important to get plenty of rest while still staying active. Although your surgeon will have specific instructions, there are a few that are typically followed. Avoid heavy lifting for at least a few weeks following your surgery. Any kind of strenuous activity that puts pressure or strain on the incision site is to be avoided.
Depending on the precise surgical procedure you undergo, your recovery may take anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months. Due to the fact that the exact function of the appendix is relatively unknown, diet and lifestyle changes typically are not needed.
Do you need to have your appendix removed? Schedule an appointment with the best surgeons in NYC to discuss your needs today.
The procedure of surgically removing the narrow, elongated tube attached to the colon-known as an appendix when it becomes diseased, inflamed or infected (appendicitis) is called appendectomy. It is normally carried out on an emergency basis as swollen appendicitis could burst if not excised, causing the clogged stool and bacteria to spread. It would eventually infect other gastrointestinal organs and lead to peritonitis-a life-threatening condition. A ruptured appendix could also create an abdominal abscess which is also a grave condition that could endanger your life.
Generally, two kinds of appendectomy are carried out to do away with appendicitis:
Open appendectomy is more suitable for patients whose appendices have split open and also for those who have undergone abdominal surgery before.
A laparoscopic appendectomy, on the other hand, involves accessing the appendix via three tiny incisions or openings made in the lower abdomen. A cannula filled with carbon dioxide (a slender and small tube) is inserted through the openings for inflating the abdomen following which a laparoscope is slotted in.
A high-resolution camera fixed at the head of the laparoscope transmits the image to a display screen. The displayed images will clearly show the precise location of the appendix which in turn will help the surgeon to channelize the surgical instruments for ligation (of the appendix) and excising it. Keyhole surgery usually resorts if the patient happens to be overweight and aged.
The specific benefits of laparoscopic appendectomy vary from one patient to another, depending upon his or her condition. Nevertheless, the common benefits entail:
The associated risk factors or complications are more or less the same for both laparoscopic appendectomy and open appendectomy. Following are some common side effects:
Once you’re through with the surgery, you’ll need to abide by the surgeon’s instructions to stay safe and secure. Your surgeon will generally list the following instructions and precautions:
Most patients convalesce from appendicitis within 4-5 weeks of the conduction of laparoscopic appendectomy. Nevertheless, a very slim chance of getting infected is always present.
Laparoscopic appendectomy is generally resorted to when there is imminent risk of the inflamed appendix bursting open. The risks related to leaving appendicitis untreated are remarkably grave and could endanger the affected individual’s life. For complete information on laparoscopic appendix surgery of the appendix, you can contact our general surgeon and make an appointment with him for possible surgery.