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Appendicitis can be life threatening; do not ignore it, advice doctors

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Mumbai : – Even though appendicitis is a common problem, there is significantly very little awareness when it comes to this condition. Abdominal pain, nausea, fever, and vomiting are some of the red flags for appendicitis which people often tend to ignore. This could lead to a medical emergency if the appendix were to burst or rupture causing abscess or sepsis. If not treated timely, it can be fatal too. Timely intervention is therefore, key to managing this lesser-known condition and improving your quality of life.

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix which is a small pouch-like structure of one’s large intestine in the right lower area of the abdomen. It is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain leading to surgical intervention.

Currently cases of appendicitis are rising at a rapid rate in all age groups. Although the condition can be managed with the right prognosis, most people are usually unaware of its symptoms and causes. Appendicitis is typically diagnosed as a sudden pain that begins around the navel and shifts to the lower right abdomen with the pain worsening with any jarring movements like coughing or even walking.

Various tests and procedures are used to diagnose appendicitis and the prognosis involves a course of antibiotics dosages followed by a surgical procedure to remove the inflamed appendix. The surgical removal of the appendix doesn’t impact one’s quality of life.

Dr Pankaj Gandhi, Laparoscopic & General Surgeon at SRV Hospitals – Goregaon said, “Acute appendicitis constitutes about 3-5% of the surgical intervention required in gastrointestinal ailments. It is seen in all age groups, right from children to pregnant and the elderly but is predominant in the 15 to 30 years age bracket. A blockage in the lining of the appendix resulting in infection is the most likely cause of appendicitis. It is almost always treated as an emergency and appendectomy is the standard treatment for almost all cases because a ruptured appendix can be life threatening.”

According to Dr. Gandhi, a lower incidence of appendicitis was noticed during the covid pandemic and this can be attributed to maintaining good GI hygiene resulting in low GI symptoms.

Dr Gandhi added, “It is imperative to immediately consult a doctor in case one feels any painful discomfort in the abdomen, or feels nauseated and bloated, or has a loss of appetite with fever & chills. Tests like complete blood count (CBC), urine examination, ultrasound of the abdomen or a CT scan or MRI are often advised. The doctor may advise laparoscopic removal of the appendix in case of acute appendicitis, so that the pain is minimal and the recovery is quicker and the patient can return back to his/her work within a day or two.”

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