The appendix is a small organ in the body, one that most people in Los Angeles County don’t give much thought to. However, when a San Dimas resident begins experiencing severe abdominal pain, they may begin giving this 3-and-a-half inches of tissue some further thought. Appendicitis is defined as inflammation of the appendix, and people should be aware of the signs and symptoms of this condition. Appendicitis should be treated by a general surgeon as quickly as possible.
What are the Symptoms of Appendicitis?
There are several main symptoms of appendicitis that people should know about. One of the first signs is a dull ache near where the appendix is located. Following this pain, many patients will notice that they have a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, swelling near their abdomen and a fever that ranges from 99 to 102 degrees. Many patients who are suffering from appendicitis are not able to pass gas. Painful urination, constipation or severe cramping also can accompany appendicitis, but not every patient will experience these symptoms.
What Causes Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is often caused by a blockage of the appendix. The blockage can be caused by stool or cancer cells. A foreign object also can block the appendix. In addition, a person who has recently suffered from another type of infection is at risk for appendicitis. The appendix swells as a natural reaction to any infection in the body, and this swelling can quickly lead to inflammation. Most people who get appendicitis are between the ages of 10 and 30. It rarely occurs in infants and toddlers under the age of 2.
How is Appendicitis Treated?
Appendicitis is treated by immediate removal of the appendix. This is done in order to prevent the appendix from bursting, which can cause severe and even life-threatening complications. In addition, untreated appendicitis can cause peritonitis. Peritonitis is the inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity. When peritonitis occurs, it can be fatal unless it is treated promptly with strong antibiotics. Most people will work with a general surgeon when treating appendicitis, because an expert in general surgery is most familiar with this region of the body and the organs that are located there. It is pivotal that appendicitis is treated as quickly as possible.
When a patient first notices the signs or symptoms of appendicitis, they should contact a general surgeon as quickly as possible. Appendicitis can have serious consequences, and patients will have to undergo much more significant medical treatment if this condition is left untreated. If you have any questions about appendicitis, or you are worried that you might be experiencing this painful and serious condition, you should contact an expert in general surgery today.