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Treatment for Appendicitis: How is it treated and why?

Pain, General | August 7, 2014 | Author: The Super Pharmacist

Digestion, Pain

Treatment for Appendicitis: How is it treated and why?

Appendicitis is the inflammation of the vermiform appendix located at the caecum. If left untreated, this can be a fatal condition because the irritated appendix will become perforated or burst, which will cause infection to spill into the abdomen. This may lead to a serious condition known as peritonitis, which may be fatal if not treated quickly with powerful antibiotics. In most cases of appendicitis, surgical intervention is required.

If appendicitis is diagnosed early and treatment is carried out prior to a rupture of the appendix, then the outcome will be quite good in most cases.

The treatment for such a condition generally includes:

  • Intravenous antibiotics
  • Pain medication
  • Surgery to remove the appendix, which is known as an appendectomy

Non-Surgical Treatment for Appendicitis

Non-Surgical Treatment for AppendicitisIn some circumstances, such as if the patient is not well enough to undergo surgery or the surgery is unavailable, non-surgical treatment for appendicitis may be an option.

This non-surgical treatment uses a combination of a low-fat, high-fibre diet of liquid or soft foods and antibiotics to treat the infection.

Removal of the Appendix

The most prevalent treatment for appendicitis is an appendectomy, which is the complete removal of the appendix. Because the appendix does not seem to have a useful purpose in the human body, it is possible to remove the organ without causing any serious complications.

Following a diagnosis of appendicitis, this procedure is often performed as soon as possible.

Removal of the AppendixThe traditional way to remove an appendix is with a single five to seven centimetre long incision. This incision is made in the lower right side of the abdomen to remove the appendix from the body. If the appendix bursts prior to the operation, a tube will be inserted to drain pus from the abdominal cavity.

When possible, laparoscopic surgery is used to remove the appendix. Also known as keyhole surgery, this procedure involves a smaller incision in the abdomen of about one to two centimetres in length. A tiny video camera and special instruments are used to carefully remove the appendix. This type of surgery involves less pain and scarring, as well as a quicker recovery.

However, this option is not a possibility in all cases of appendicitis.

Following the removal of the appendix, antibiotics are used to treat or prevent any infection. Often times, the antibiotics are given prior to, during and after the procedure whenever possible. The patient is generally able to get up and move about within twelve hours following surgery. Normal activities can usually be resumed in two or three weeks. If the appendix bursts before removal can take place, the treatment will be more intensive and the hospital stay may be longer.

Appendicitis is considered to be a medical emergency and immediate care should be sought. Prompt treatment of this condition will generally result in a speedy recovery. However, the delay of diagnosis and treatment could lead to life-threatening complications.

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References

Carr, NJ, Department of Histopathology, Royal Hospital Haslar, Gosport, Hampshire, UK; Annual of Diagnostic Pathology “The Pathology of Acute Appendicitis”; Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 46-58; February 2000

Søreide, K, Department of Surgery, Stavanger University Hospital, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway;Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology & Hepatology ‘Should Antibiotic Treatment Replace Appendectomy For Acute Appendicitis?’ Volume. 4, Number 11, Pages 584-585; 2007

Kids Health, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Fact Sheet Appendicitis

Better Health Channel, Conditions and Treatments, Digestive System – Large Intestine, Appendicitis

Martin Surgery, Dr. Ian Martin of Brisbane Australia and Dr. David Martin of Sydney Australia, Patient Info, Conditions, Inflammation, Appendicitis

Body + Soul, Health, Health A-Z Glossary, Appendicitis

The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Kids Health Info, Appendicitis 1 – Infected Appendix and Appendicitis 2 – Removing the Appendix

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, Digestive Info, Digestive Diseases A-Z List of Topics and Titles: Appendicitis

Mayo Clinic, Patient Care & Health Info, Diseases and Conditions, Appendicitis

myDr for a healthy Australia, Kids’ & Teens’ Health, Appendicitis

Sydney Children’s Hospital, Health Information, Factsheet – Appendicitis

Azaro EM, Amaral PC, Ettinger JE, Souza EL, Fortes MF, Alcântarag RSM, Regis AB, Sousa MM, Fogagnoli WG, Carmo VM, Galvão TD, Stagliorio EP, Santana, Jr. PA, Fahel E; Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons “Laparoscopic Versus Open Appendicectomy: A Comparative Study”; 1999

The Merch Manual Home Health Handbook for Patients & Caregivers, Digestive Disorders, Gastrointestinal Emergencies, Appendicitis

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