Appendicitis is an acute inflammation of the ileocecal appendix, a kind of natural suspended small diverticulum caecum which is a part of the intestine between the small intestine and right colon.
Common in children and adolescents, it also relates to adults and sometimes the elderly.
The exact cause of appendicitis is still undetermined.
It could be related to the accumulation of feces in the appendix then triggers inflammation, but also sometimes a true infection with pus.
The diagnosis of appendicitis is easy when all the signs are present, which is not always the case especially in adults, or when the appendix is ??abnormally positioned behind the cecum or in the liver for example.
Typically, appendicitis is marked by pain in the right iliac fossa (between the groin and the navel), nausea, vomiting and constipation.
The fever is moderate, around 38 5. Palpation of the area is painful and causes a contraction of the abdominal muscles called defense.
Diseases whose symptoms are similar?
Gynecological conditions in women, intestinal obstruction in the elderly, colitis, inflammation of the lymph nodes (mesenteric adenitis), urinary tract infections, tumors cecal ...
In general, all the painful conditions of the abdomen may mimic appendicitis.
A blood test can find a leukocytosis (increased white blood cells) that reflects infection.
We realize more and more frequently an abdominal ultrasound to look for signs of inflammation of the intestine or even an abdominal CT scan (especially in obese or overweight).
Appendicitis is a surgical emergency.
Only appendectomy (removal of the appendix) provides a cure. It involves removing the appendix under general anesthesia patients.
In the absence of complications, this is done more frequently by laparoscopy (surgery performed with one or two small incisions in the abdominal wall).
What should you do?
You should consult a doctor urgently to:
- Any sharp pain in the appendiceal area, and more generally of the abdomen,
- Associated with fever,
- And digestive disorders (nausea, vomiting, bloating ...).
The break in the wall of the appendix weakened by inflammation or infection peritonitis carries, that is to say, a terrible infection of the peritoneum (the membrane that lines the inside of the abdominal wall), always possible the absence of prompt treatment.
It is marked by high fever, high leukocytosis (increased white blood cell count) and severe abdominal pain accompanied by a permanent contraction of the abdominal muscles (stomach as hard as wood).
There is no stool or intestinal gas. This is a surgical emergency.
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