Listed among the most common surgical emergencies across the globe, appendicitis affects millions of people every year. The condition is marked by inflammation of the appendix, a tiny organ found in the lower right side of the abdominal cavity that serves no known function. If left untreated for long, the condition can lead to the rupturing of the appendix, releasing the infected pus into the abdominal cavity. This blog, by an expert from the best general surgery hospital in Gurugram, will help you understand all you need to know about appendicitis and how it is treated.
What is Appendicitis?
Appendicitis refers to the inflammation of the appendix, which is usually caused by a blockage or obstruction. This promotes bacterial growth, giving rise to severe infection and accumulation of pus. The infected appendix can burst and release this pus into the bloodstream, giving rise to life-threatening complications. As per the best doctors in Gurugram, appendicitis can affect people of any age group, however, it is most commonly seen in people in age groups of 10 to 30 years.
What are the different types of Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is broadly classified into two different types, predominantly based on the onset of the symptoms. These are:
Acute Appendicitis - Acute appendicitis, as the name suggests, has a sudden or abrupt onset with severe symptoms. It is most likely to affect younger adults, especially those in the age group of 10 to 30 years. Generally, males tend to be more susceptible to acute appendicitis as compared to females. The symptoms aggravate very quickly, within a couple of hours with the patient requiring immediate medical intervention. In the case of acute appendicitis, the appendix can rupture anytime, hence doctors usually recommend emergency surgical removal of the same.
Chronic Appendicitis - Chronic appendicitis, on the other hand, takes several weeks or even months to develop. The symptoms develop gradually and are so mild that these might even go unnoticed during the initial stage of the disease. In some cases, the patient experiences symptoms, which may become silent and then reappear after some days. It is due to this very reason that patients suffering from the condition are often diagnosed late. Eventually, it develops into acute appendicitis, with abrupt onset of symptoms, that call for the need of immediate medical intervention. Chronic appendicitis is quite rare compared to acute appendicitis.
Complications that you should not overlook
Appendicitis has been linked with a number of serious and life-threatening complications. It can cause the appendix to rupture, leading the infection to spread to other organs. Three of the most common complications that can be triggered by appendicitis include:
Peritonitis - It refers to the infection of the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdomen. This is marked by symptoms like an accelerated heartbeat, fever, breathlessness, and persistent abdominal discomfort.
Abscess - This refers to the pus-filled pockets that develop around the appendix after it bursts. In such cases, the patient needs antibiotic treatment and the abscess is to be drained using a needle.
Sepsis - It is quite rare as compared to the other two and is marked by the spread of infection throughout the body which is caused by the release of pus into the bloodstream.
Understanding the treatment
The most preferred treatment option for patients with appendicitis is an appendectomy, which refers to the surgical removal of the appendix. Patients are usually given antibiotics to curb the infection and in some cases, the abscess may be drained prior to the surgery. Appendectomy is performed under the influence of anaesthesia. The surgical approach is usually minimal invasive (laparoscopic appendectomy), but sometimes conventional open surgery may also be required. Usually, the surgery takes about an hour and the patient is discharged within a day or two.
To know more about appendectomy, consult the experts from the best hospital in Gurugram today.
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