The reasons for the development of appendicitis
The exact reasons for the development of the inflammatory process are still unclear. But there are several common options:
Imbalance in microflora – bacteria that are harmless in a normal environment become toxic and cause inflammation.
Vascular spasm – causes a deterioration in tissue nutrition. Some areas die off and become a focus of infection.
Intestinal congestion – feces, foreign bodies, neoplasms, or parasites can obstruct the lumen of the appendix. Mucus accumulates at the closure site, where the microbiome begins to multiply. The narrowing and squeezing of the appendix disrupts the processes of blood circulation, the flow of lymph, which leads to a rapid progression of inflammation and necrosis of the tissues of the appendix.
Frequent constipation, which forms fecal stones, will be a predisposing factor.
Symptoms of appendicitis
The appendix is located in the lower abdomen. The first symptom is unbearable pain that appears in the navel area and spreads to the lower right abdomen. The pain is worse for a short time, with movement, taking a deep breath, coughing, or sneezing.
Other typical symptoms:
nausea, up to vomiting
decreased or complete lack of appetite
constipation or, conversely, diarrhea
flatulence, painful bloating
fever, chills, symptoms of intoxication
urge to defecate
Signs of an inflammatory process in the appendix in men and women may be different. For example, women experience nausea, vomiting and fever. At the beginning of the development of the disease, the pain is pressing, pulling and even not necessarily on the right side, which can be mistakenly recognized as gynecological problems.
Then the pain can become cramping, such symptoms most often occur in the evening or at night.
In men, with acute inflammation, there is severe pain in the abdomen, spontaneous pulling up of the right testicle. When the scrotum is pulled, there is discomfort and pain in the anus and a pronounced urge to empty the intestines.
In older people, symptoms of appendicitis may be less pronounced: minor pain, mild nausea. At the same time, appendicitis in the elderly is often characterized by a severe course and the development of complications.
In children under 5 years of age, the symptoms of appendicitis are not as pronounced as in adults. Pains are often not clearly localized. You can recognize appendicitis in a small child by an increase in body temperature, diarrhea and the presence of plaque on the tongue.
Types of pathology
Acute appendicitis – develops rapidly, manifests itself with pronounced symptoms. If you do not act, the pain increases and the inflammation can lead to serious complications.
By its nature, acute appendicitis can be complicated and uncomplicated. Uncomplicated pathology, in turn, has 2 forms: catarrhal (only the mucous membrane becomes inflamed), destructive (deeper layers are affected).
Chronic is a rather rare form. In most cases, it develops as a result of acute appendicitis in the absence of treatment. Has the same symptoms, but they are very sluggish. Periods of exacerbation and remission are characteristic, like any chronic disease.
Chronic appendicitis is also divided into subspecies:
Residual – a consequence of the postponed acute appendicitis, which ended in self-healing. It manifests itself as dull aching pains in the right iliac region.
Recurrent – is paroxysmal in nature: from time to time there are exacerbations, followed by remission.
Primary chronic – develops independently, without the precursor of acute appendicitis.
Diagnosis of appendicitis
The first thing that begins with examining a patient is examination and collection of anamnesis. The doctor asks to talk about when the symptoms appeared and how long the discomfort lasts. This is important to understand in order to distinguish a disease from something else.
It is important to take into account other factors that could cause the development of appendicitis:
Surgery in the abdomen in the recent past.
Taking medication or supplements.
Bad habits, alcohol, drug abuse, etc.
Feeling the abdomen will help determine the localization and intensity of pain, its characteristics. Pelvic and rectal examinations may be needed. The final diagnosis is made only after the delivery of laboratory tests. Blood and urine tests can help detect signs of inflammation or other health problems.
Visual methods of examination may also be required – ultrasound of the abdominal organs, CT or MRI. They will allow:
determine the condition of the appendix and assess its integrity
detect signs of inflammation
evaluate the blockage inside the appendix
identify an abscess or other complications
How is appendicitis treated?
Pathology requires immediate treatment, since the process can burst and its contents will pour out into the abdominal cavity and peritonitis will begin. Therefore, the only solution is to surgically remove the appendix.
An appendectomy is a surgery to remove the appendix. It can be done in two ways:
classical – abdominal surgery
laparoscopic when large incisions are absent
Abdominal surgery is performed in case of rupture of the appendix and if its contents have spilled into the abdominal cavity, as well as if the rupture has caused an abscess.
Laparoscopy is considered the most modern method of removing the appendix for various reasons: less invasiveness, faster recovery, and the number of complications is less.
The operation is carried out as follows:
the surgeon makes small incisions through which access to the appendix appears
backlit camera introduced
with other instruments, the process is removed
areas are processed for the disinfection of infectious material
the operated area is examined, sutures are applied
Prevention of appendicitis
There is no specific prevention, appendicitis can happen to anyone. It is best to give up bad habits, observe proper nutrition. A sufficient content of fiber, fresh vegetables and fruits, fermented milk products supports normal bowel function, prevents constipation.
Also, preventive measures include the timely treatment of any infectious and inflammatory diseases, gastrointestinal pathologies and helminthic invasions.