On which side does appendicitis hurt?

The appendix is ​​a small dead end tube that appears in the large intestine, near the cecum, on the right side of the abdomen. It is considered a vestigial organ no known function, so you can live normally and healthily without the appendix. However, there are some proposals for possible functions related to the immune system and the maintenance of the intestinal flora.

appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix, usually begins with a blockage or obstruction of the appendix by fecal material, mucus, parasites, cancer or other foreign bodies. The obstruction facilitates the rapid growth of bacteria inside it, causing an infection, inflammation of the organ and, generally, pain.

Since the appendix is ​​usually in the right part of the bodythe pain is usually felt more on the right side, or at least intensifies to the right. In any case, the location of the pain is a very imprecise symptom that cannot be used to make an exact diagnosis of appendicitis.

Appendicitis pain and symptoms

Pain is considered one of the first and most common symptoms of appendicitis. It usually appears suddenly epigastric or umbilical areanear the navel in the mid-upper part of the abdomen with enhancement to the right of the abdomen.

The pain is usually moderate and constant but with intermittent cramps. A few hours after appearing, it usually descends towards the right lower quadrant to an area known as mcburney's pointapproximately in the midway between the navel and the top of the right hip.

However, this pattern of pain only appears between 50 and 75% of cases. In other cases, the pain appears late, is diffuse, radiates to the leftis very slight or even does not appear at all.

Other symptoms of appendicitis include loss of appetite, cramps and cramps, nausea and vomiting, abdominal swelling, fever, diarrhea with a lot of gas or the opposite, constipation with blockage in the passage of gas.

Sometimes other symptoms considered atypical may appear, such as dull or sharp pain in the upper or lower abdomen, rectum or back, painful urination or vomiting that precede abdominal pain.

The diagnosis of appendicitis can be complicated by looking only at the symptoms, because they are symptoms similar to those that appear in many other conditions, such as problems with the urinary system, gastritis, ovarian problems or intestinal diseases. In addition to the symptoms of inflammation and abdominal pain, urinary tests, rectal exams and imaging tests such as ultrasound or CT scans are usually performed.

appendectomy

Appendicitis is considered a health emergency which in most cases requires appendix removal. If left untreated, the inflamed appendix may burst or perforate and the infection may spread to the abdominal cavity (peritonitis), with a high risk for life if not treated quickly with strong antibiotics.

Surgery to remove the appendix is ​​known as appendectomy. Although in some cases the use of antibiotics could be sufficient and not require surgery, appendectomy is considered the standard treatment for appendicitis.

Excision is usually combined with antibiotic treatment as a preventive measure for possible peritonitis. Appendectomy is performed by laparoscopy or through a small incision in the abdomen. Laparoscopy offers less intrusion and faster recovery, but it is not always possible. For example, if peritonitis already exists, drainage of the abdominal cavity may be necessary.

The patient can walk and stand in about 12 hours. Normality is fully recovered between 2 and 3 weeks.

Prevention and risk factors

Approximately 5% of the population suffers from appendicitis throughout their lives, especially between the ages of 10 and 30, with a higher incidence in men than in women. One of the main risk factors is low fiber dietssince the accumulation of feces is one of the main causes of appendicitis.

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