Appendix is a small worm like structure attached to the cecum, the beginning of the colon, on the lower right side of abdomen. During first few years of life, appendix functions as part of the immune system, but after that it does not have any known function. Sudden inflammation of appendix is known as Appendicitis- and if you are able to recognize its symptoms, you can prevent serious appendicitis complications from occurring. The most serious complication of appendicitis is an infection of the lining of your abdominal cavity (peritonitis). This may occur if your appendix ruptures (perforates) and the contents of your intestines and infectious organisms invade the peritoneal cavity. Peritonitis is a medical emergency.
The appendix is a narrow, small, finger-shaped portion of the large intestine that is generally situated near junction of small and large intestine (Cecum) on lower right side of the abdomen.
Appendicitis is a sudden inflammation of the appendix. Although the appendix does not seem to serve any purpose, but if left untreated, it can burst,or cause infection. It primarily occurs when the interior of the appendix becomes filled with something like mucus, bacteria, foreign materials, parasites or hard stools. This causes swelling in the appendix, thereafter leading to irritation and inflammation. Appendix may perforate, allowing stool, mucus, and other substances to leak through and get inside the abdomen causing localized abscess or generalised infection of abdomen (peritonitis).
The diagnosis of appendicitis begins with a thorough history and physical examination. As patients usually have an elevated temperature, there is moderate to severe tenderness in the right lower abdomen, when the doctor physically examines it. In case, inflammation has spread to the peritoneum, there can be a frequently rebound tenderness. Rebound tenderness is pain that is worse when the doctor quickly releases his or her hand after gently pressing on the abdomen over the area of tenderness.
The following tests are usually used to make the diagnosis:
Laparoscopic method - The appendix is removed with instruments placed into small abdominal incisions.
The main advantages are: