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Treatment for Appendicitis

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 8 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 appendicitis Inflammation Of The

Appendicitis the swelling and inflammation of the appendix, usually results in severe abdominal pain. Because the pain associated with this condition mimics that of many other abdominal conditions a correct diagnosis can be hard to achieve. Once a diagnosis has been made, however, prompt treatment is necessary to avoid complication and the bursting of the appendix organ.

Treating Confined Appendicitis

In some cases the inflammation of the appendix is very mild and localised to one small area. This type of appendicitis is called confined appendicitis and is sometimes left on its own to heal. In these cases rupture and other complications are not of great concern so doctors usually take a "wait and see" approach to treatment. In order to increase the speed of healing doctors will sometimes also prescribe oral antibiotics to aid in inflammation reduction. Even in the cases of confined appendicitis, or in cases where the doctor is not completely sure appendicitis is the cause of the symptoms, he or she may still want to perform a test to check the health of the appendix or remove the organ altogether.

Appendicitis Treatment

The only available treatment option for full-scale appendicitis is an appendectomy. An appendectomy is a surgical treatment method that involves the removal of the appendix from the body. This procedure is usually done rather quickly after a diagnosis is made in order to avoid the risk of appendix rupture.

If your doctor is not sure that you are suffering from appendicitis he may have you wait in the hospital for up to eight hours under observation. After this period, if the symptoms have not improved, he will probably order an appendectomy. Once he sees the appendix he will evaluate it for signs of inflammation or blockage. Even if the appendix appears healthy, the doctor will most likely still remove the organ in order to avoid future flare-ups, and possible rupture.

Treatment After Appendix Rupture

If a patient seeks medical attention after the appendix has ruptured, the treatment process for appendicitis varies. First, the doctor will start the patient on antibiotics to fight the spread of infection throughout the body. The next step in treatment would be the draining of any abscesses.

Abscesses form when the ruptured appendix closes and the infection is trapped in or around the appendix. By draining the abscesses first doctors can control the spread of infection. In order to drain the abscess a tube is inserted through the skin and into the abscessed area. To ensure proper tube placement doctors usually perform an ultrasound or CT scan during the procedure. Once the tube is in place the pus is allowed to drain from the abscess. After draining the organ is allowed to heal for four to six weeks and then an appendectomy is performed to prevent further complications and inflammation.

The Basics of an Appendectomy

The surgery to remove the appendix, an appendectomy, can be performed in one of two ways. The traditional way involves major surgery and an incision that is large enough to allow for appendix removal is made above the organ. This surgical procedure requires a longer hospital stay, a longer recovery period, and carries more risks for complications.

The second surgical option for appendix removal is called laparoscopic surgery. In this procedure three to four small incisions are made in the abdomen. Instruments, such as a camera for guidance and a tool for organ removal, are inserted through the incisions and the appendix is removed. This procedure is less invasive, requires less recovery time, and usually carries less risk for complications.

Although there are a few different options for the treatment of appendicitis only your doctor can decide which type of treatment will be most effective for you and your unique situation. However, the earlier that a diagnosis is made the easier any type of treatment will be.

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