Appendicitis is one of those conditions that most everyone is familiar with. Generally, there is an understanding that it causes severe abdominal pain and requires prompt medical attention and surgical removal of the appendix. However, the specifics such as location and type of pain, additional symptoms, and potential complications seem to be less understood. Here are the details of which patients should be aware in the event that appendicitis impacts them.
What are the Symptoms of Appendicitis?
Sudden and intense abdominal pain is the most recognizable sign associated with appendicitis and one that indicates the need for immediate medical attention. What you may not also realize is that this pain typically has a very specific location: the lower right abdomen. In some cases, it may begin as a dull pain near the navel but will eventually progress to this area and become sharper as it moves. It may also worsen with sudden, jarring motions such as coughing or walking. In addition to pain, there are a number of other symptoms which may accompany an attack of appendicitis. Patients may experience nausea or vomiting, fever, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
What are the Complications of Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is the result of an infection in which quickly multiplying bacteria cause severe inflammation. If not promptly treated, patients could experience serious and even life-threatening complications. The most dangerous of these is the threat of an appendix rupture. Should this occur, the infection that was previously isolated to the appendix is spread throughout the abdominal cavity. This is an emergency situation which requires immediate surgery.
How is an Appendectomy Performed?
Surgical removal of the appendix, also known as an appendectomy, is almost always needed to treat appendicitis. Fortunately, this is a procedure which now benefits from the availability of laparoscopic techniques, meaning that the surgery is minimally invasive. Performed using only a few small incisions, a camera for visual guidance, and special surgical instruments, physicians are able to remove the appendix before problematic complications can arise. Patients treated with this method also enjoy the benefit of less pain, quicker recovery times, and minimal scarring. Once removed, patients can expect a speedy recovery with no lasting symptoms.
If you begin to experience the signs of appendicitis, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Should an appendectomy be needed, the surgeons of Lane Surgery Group are available to smoothly and safely perform a minimally invasive removal, quickly getting you on the road to recovery.