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What is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is a painful condition due to infection and swelling of the appendix. It starts as a mild pain near the navel and progresses towards lower abdomen causing severe pain. You’ll need immediate surgery if you have appendicitis as it can be life threatening if left untreated.

What causes appendicitis?

There are several reasons for appendicitis. Some of them are:

  • Hard stools

  • Tumours

  • Worms in the intestine

  • Blockage near the appendix

Symptoms / when to call your doctor

Some of the symptoms you might experience are:

  • Mild pain or cramping near the navel which moves down to the lower abdomen

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Constipation

  • Low fever

Why you should see a doctor?

Appendicitis requires emergency surgery. If left untreated, the appendix can burst and the infection can spread across the abdomen which can be fatal.

How is it diagnosed?

Appendicitis can be diagnosed by a physical exam and blood test.

The doctor might recommend some imaging reports like ultrasound, CT scan or abdominal X ray to confirm the diagnosis.

Dietary Restrictions

After the surgery, you should eat foods that are easy on the digestive system. Having indigestion after the surgery is not good.

Some of the foods that you can include in the diet are:

  • Soups and juices

  • High fibre food

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Avoid fatty, sugary food

Treatment for Appendicitis

Based on the swelling and infection in the appendix, the doctor will recommend the treatment. If the situation is not critical, the doctor will give you antibiotics and keep you on a liquid diet.However, if the situation is critical, immediate surgery is required.

Types of surgeries:

SpecificsLaparoscopic SurgeryAppendectomy (Open Surgery)
IncisionNo2-4 inch
InvasiveLowHigh
Recovery2-3 days2-3 weeks
Blood lossLessHigh
Chance of RecurrenceLowHigh
ScarsNon-noticeableNoticeable

Laparoscopic Procedure

The laparoscopic surgery for appendicitis is performed through small incisions made in the abdomen.

Flow of the procedure:

  • Patient is given general anaesthesia for the procedure

  • Three small incisions are made in the abdomen

  • A tiny camera is inserted into the incision

  • The camera footage is visible on a screen which guides the doctor to perform the surgery

  • The appendix is removed through one of the incisions

Recovery Time and Dietary Advice:

  • 1 Day procedure with mild pain

  • Resume normal routine from next day

  • Simple, bland, nutritious, fibre rich food

Risks involved in the treatment:

There are very less complications through this laser treatment. Some of the risks may be:

  • allergic or adverse reaction to anaesthesia or other drugs

  • bleeding

  • blood clots

  • infection

  • injury to adjacent organs like the small intestine, bladder or ureter

Traditional Procedure

The traditional procedure involves a large cut made in the abdomen which is sutured after the procedure is complete. When the appendix has burst, this surgery is preferred as the entire abdominal cavity needs to be cleaned.

Flow of the procedure:

  • Patient is given general anaesthesia for the procedure

  • A large cut is made in the abdomen

  • The appendix is directly removed from the incision

  • If the appendix has burst, the abdominal cavity is cleaned and then, the cut is sutured

Recovery Time and Dietary Advice:

  • Hospital stay of 2-4 days or longer

  • Resume normal day routine after 4-6 weeks

  • Liquid diet for a couple of days after which solids can be introduced

Risks involved in the treatment:

The procedure involves a large cut. So, some of the risks may be:

  • Injury to surrounding organs

  • Infection of the colon

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Infection of the surgical wound

  • Blood clots related to the longer recovery period after open surgery

  • Risks of general anaesthesia