Q. How is Acute Appendicitis Diagnosed? My doctor sent me to the emergency room because he thought I might have acute appendicitis. What are the symptoms and how is it diagnosed? A. The symptoms of acute appendicitis can be misleading at first, because they are very unspecific. Usually the patient arrives with abdominal pain, that is classicaly located in the lower right side of the abdomen. However, sometimes the pain can't be located at a certain location.
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The pain tends to increase within hours, and become intolerable, to a point where the patient seeks medical care. Other common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite and fever. The diagnosis is usually made clinically by physical examination. In some cases a CT-scan is performed as well. What happens if you leave appendicitis alone? I have symptoms of appendicitis, but I don't want to go to the hospital. What should I do? And what could happen?
If you have symptoms of appendicitis you should see a doctor immediately, because the major complication of an untreated appendix is rupture and infection of the entire abdomen, that can lead to generalized sepsis. All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. Avengers, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Royals, Runaways, Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider, Mighty Thor, All-New Wolverine If your DNN site has not been published in the index web page, please contact the Help Desk at 797-5757 and submit your request. Please specify the following information: department name and site address. Only sites that have been completed will be listed on the index page. We appreciate your assistance. By keeping us informed, we will be able to provide you with better customer service. Extending from the inferior end of the large intestine’s cecum, the human appendix is a narrow pouch of tissue whose resemblance to a worm inspired its alternate name, vermiform (worm-like) appendix.
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It is located in the right iliac region of the abdomen (in the lower right-hand abdominal area), measuring about four inches long and roughly a quarter of an inch in diameter. The appendix is not a vital organ and medical researchers still debate its exact function in our bodies. One hypothesis suggests that it is a vestigial remnant of a once larger cecum. This larger cecum would have been used by vegetarian ancestors to digest cellulose from plants. Supporters of this hypothesis therefore conclude that the appendix no longer serves any purpose for us. Another hypothesis suggests that the appendix acts as a storage area for beneficial bacteria during times of illness. Beneficial bacteria living in the appendix could survive being flushed out of the large intestine by diarrhea. The appendix would therefore help a person to recover more rapidly from illness by enabling the bacteria to re-colonize the intestines after the illness has passed. Doctors typically remove an appendix if it becomes inflamed, and even a healthy appendix may be removed during abdominal surgeries such as a hysterectomy. A doctor’s justification for this removal is that the appendix is susceptible to bacterial infections that lead to , a fairly common and dangerous inflammation of the appendix.
Often one of the first signs of appendicitis is pain and tenderness near the navel, often growing sharper and spreading downward into the lower right abdomen. The pain can grow quite severe over the course of a few hours, so much so that it may be impossible to get comfortable or to move without pain. Applying pressure to the area will commonly cause pain that can sharpen after releasing the pressure (a phenomenon called “rebound tenderness”), though this is not always the case. Additional common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever and others. Tenderness and growing pain in the right abdomen that is noticeable enough to cause considerable discomfort during movement or at rest warrants medical attention in order to reach a diagnosis and receive any necessary treatment. Untreated appendicitis can lead to the rupture of the appendix, a serious medical emergency wherein fecal matter leaks out of the cecum. Left untreated, the bacteria-laden fecal matter spreads throughout the abdominal cavity, where the bacteria begin to digest the peritoneum that lines the cavity. The infection and inflammation of the peritoneum, known as peritonitis, is a severely painful and potentially fatal consequence of appendicitis.
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