What are the risks of Appendicitis?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 14, 2012
Quick Bites

  • Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix.
  • It is a medical emergency that requires prompt surgery.
  • The surgical removal of the appendix is done by Appendectomy.
  • If left untreated, the appendix can burst and spread the infection to the abdomen

Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix, a small, finger shaped protrusion of the colon and is found in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. The inflammation may be acute or chronic.  It is a medical emergency that requires prompt surgery in order to remove the appendix. It commonly occurs between the ages of 10 and 30 and is more common in men than in women than in women According to the Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, appendicitis is the most common medical condition in the United Stated of America. 


Causes of Appendicitis

Scientists believe that this condition is caused by an obstruction in the appendix. The obstruction may be either partial or complete. The obstruction can be caused by enlarged lymphoid follicles, worms, trauma and tumors.  When there is obstruction in the appendix, the bacteria tends to multiply inside the organ leading to the formation of pus.  The increased pressure may cause pain or compress the local blood vessels.  Reduced blood flow to the appendix may form gangrene.  When the appendix ruptures, the fecal matter can fill the abdomen. The ruptured appendix may cause peritonitis which is the inflammation of the tissues that lines the abdominal wall. Other organs such as cecum, bladder and sigmoid colon can also become inflamed after a rupture.

Symptoms of Appendictis

Symptoms of appendicitis include :

  • Lower right side abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • constipation
  • Inability to pass gas
  • abdominal swelling
  • Fever

The pain may begin as mild cramping which often becomes more steady and severe with time. The appendicitis can also affect the urination.

stomach aching

Risks of an Appendicitis

Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix which is done to cure to the appendicitis. There is always a little chance of complications with a surgery which may include excessive bleeding and infection. But the risks associated with an appendectomy are far lower than the risk of leaving an infected appendix untreated. If left untreated, the appendix can burst and spread the infection to the abdomen. It could be fatal at times.

Image Courtesy : Getty

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