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Appendicitis


Introduction

Appendicitis is the swelling (inflammation) of the appendix. The appendix is a small, tube like organ attached to the large intestine. The condition is due to blockage inside the appendix. The blockage leads to increased pressure and inflammation. Appendicitis can occur at any age but it is more common during childhood and adolescence.

References: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Appendicitis
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000256.htm
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/appendicitis.html
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Appendicitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Symptoms

The main symptom is pain in abdomen. It is dull initially but gets worse over time.
Other symptoms include:


Swelling in the abdomen
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Constipation or diarrhoea
Inability to pass gas
Low grade fever
References: http://www.nlm.nih.gov

Causes

The exact reason for acute appendicitis is still unclear. Although, it is associated with the blockage inside the appendix. This blockage can be due to small pieces of faeces, a foreign body or infection.

References: http://www.nhs.uk

Diagnosis

Diagnosis may include thorough physical examination and careful consideration of the symptoms. If the diagnosis is not clear, then laboratory tests and ultrasound or CT scans may be performed.

References: http://www.nlm.nih.gov

Management

Treatment generally include surgical removal of appendix. This procedure is known as an appendicectomy or appendectomy. The appendix is removed using laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. In this procedure, surgeon uses a slender instrument (laparoscope), which is inserted through tiny incisions (cuts) in the abdomen. This eliminates the need for an abdominal incision.
References: http://www.nlm.nih.gov
http://www.nlm.nih.gov