Appendix Pt 2- How is Appendicitis Diagnosed & Treated?
How is Appendicitis diagnosed?
Your doctor will begin by performing a physical exam. A physical exam for appendicitis looks for tenderness in the lower right quadrant of your abdomen. If you’re pregnant, the pain may be higher. If perforation occurs, your stomach may become hard and swollen. A swollen, rigid belly is a symptom that should be discussed with a doctor right away. In addition to looking for tenderness, your doctor will perform several tests for appendicitis:
Urinalysis can rule out a urinary tract infection or kidney stone.
Pelvic exams can make certain that women don’t have reproductive problems. They can also rule out other pelvic infections.
Pregnancy tests can rule out a suspected ectopic pregnancy.
Abdominal imaging can determine if you have an abscess or other complications. This may be done with an X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan.
Chest X-ray can rule out right lower lobe pneumonia. This sometimes has symptoms similar to appendicitis.
Think you may have Appendicitis?
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Treatment for appendicitis varies. In rare cases, appendicitis may get better without surgery. Treatment might involve only antibiotics and a liquid diet. In most cases, however, surgery will be necessary.
The type of surgery will depend on the details of your case. If you have an abscess that hasn’t ruptured, you may receive antibiotics first. Your doctor will then drain your abscess using a tube placed through your skin. Surgery will remove your appendix after you’ve received treatment for the infection.
If you have a ruptured abscess or appendix, surgery may be necessary right away. Surgery to remove the appendix is known as an appendectomy. A doctor can perform this procedure as open surgery or through a laparoscopic procedure.
Single Incision Laparoscopic Appendectomy (SILS Appendectomy) is performed through a single, small incision within the belly button. Camera and instruments are inserted through the same hole and surgery is conducted through the single hole. The infected specimen (appendix) is removed through the same hole. As the cut is closed with absorbable sutures, not visible on the outside, there are no obvious visible scars as the wound heals. There is also no need to remove any sutures.
Most cases of acute appendicitis can be treated by means of single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS). The main advantages include:
Faster recovery and return to normal activity
Shorter hospital stay
Less wound related complications due to less number of surgical cuts
Surgery scar is hidden within the umbilicus (naval)
There are also other benefits with having Laparoscopic surgery such as there is less possibility of infection, less scarring and better cosmetic results and using of the most recent technology to replaced the need for traditional open surgeries in the abdominal or pelvic cavities.
In most cases, patients can be discharged within 24 to 36 hours. In comparison, an open procedure requires the patient to stay in the hospital for two to five days.
Most patients (more than 95% of patients) can have single incision laparoscopic Appendicectomy. However, SILS Appendectomy may be more difficult in patients who have had previous lower abdominal surgery and in the cases of obese patients. Within this group of patients, there is a possibility of conversion to 4 key-hole or open surgery. The elderly may also be at increased risk for complications with general anaesthesia. We evaluate every patient to determine the appropriate type of surgery to perform.
You can’t prevent appendicitis, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk. It’s less common in people who have diets high in fibre. Eating a healthy diet that contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables increases your fibre intake.
*Seek medical attention immediately if you think you have appendicitis.