Appendicitis is one of the most common conditions we see in the surgical world. This is also one of the most common surgical emergencies encountered in the developing world. In fact, many of the deaths related to appendicitis in the third world are preventable. All we need is better awareness, better resources and knowledge when to seek help.
So what is appendicitis?
Many have speculated the cause of this condition. It may be related to gut bacteria and blockage found in the tube of the appendix. Sometimes even intestinal worms can cause appendicitis. But the symptoms are usually the same.
- Abdominal pain initially starting in the centre then ‘migrating’ to the right side
- Lack of appetite
- Sometimes nausea and vomiting
- Occasionally you get changes in your bowel habits
These symptoms may be related to appendicitis. Your doctor will do other test including taking your temperature and heart rate, pressing on other areas of your abdomen and performing a urine test. Other tests such as ultrasound and a CT scan may be ordered.
If you’re diagnosed with appendicitis you will most likely end up with an operation, usually a keyhole surgery. Here are the top 5 things you need to know about appendicitis to ensure you get the best treatment possible:
- Don’t wait until it’s too late. Appendicitis can burst if left untreated. So if you experience symptoms that worry you make sure you check with your local doctor and exclude appendicitis.
- More often than not simple abdominal pain gets better. If it doesn’t get better and gets worse, then pop over to your local doctor for a chat and examination.
- Appendicitis is not something you can prevent. If it happens it happens. But the treatment is in Australia is top notch.
- Pregnancy and appendicitis is a bad combo. If you’re pregnant and experiencing pain that is different to your normal pain, then it’s worth a check-up with your doctor.
- Most people return to normal life within 2 weeks after surgery. So if your general surgeon recommends an operation just remember that you’ll be back on your feet before you know it.
So there you have it. Appendicitis is very common and we see it very often. If you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, make sure you go for a check-up. If your appendix needs to come out, then you’re in luck because we don’t need the appendix anyway. So live your life and if you get appendicitis then you’ll be in very good hands.