The appendix is a small pouch locate in the lower right abdomen near the junction of the small and large intestines. it is part of the body's digestive system but its exact purpose is unknown. While the appendix is not essential for survival it does help to protect against infection but sometimes it can become inflame which is known as appendicitis. So, it can lead to a ruptured appendix if left untreated.
What is appendicitis?
Appendicitis is the medical term for the inflammation of the appendix. This can be cause by infection, blockage of the appendix, or other conditions:
Symptoms of Appendix:
Symptoms of appendicitis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Swollen belly
- Loss of appetite
- An increase in white blood cells
If left untreated the inflamed appendix can burst and cause a serious medical emergency known as a ruptured appendix.
Causes of a Ruptured Appendix:
The most common cause of a ruptured appendix is an infection of the appendix. The appendix can be cause by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These bacteria can grow to cause a block and inflammation. When it is not treat quickly the pressure of bacteria inside can cut the blood supply which leads to the death of the cells. Then it causes a hole in the wall leading to leaking bacteria into the abdominal cavity. After the appearance of symptoms if the appendix is left untreated then it can burst in 48 to 72 hours. Other causes of a ruptured appendix can include an obstruction of the appendix and an abscess or a tumor.
Treatment of a ruptured appendix:
The treatment for a ruptured appendix is usually surgical. Surgery involves removing the appendix and any infection in the abdominal cavity. Sometimes if there is a bacteria-filled abscess the doctor will insert a tube to drain the pus and bacteria. Then perform surgery and antibiotics will also be prescribe to help fight the infection and prevent further inflammation. So patient will take antibiotics before and after the surgery. But in most cases, it won't exceed six days or a week.
The doctor may also prescribe painkillers after the appendix is remove for recovery. It can take up to six weeks to recover from the surgery. So, during this period patient should keep the incision clean and avoid any sports or any activity that requires vigorous effort like lifting heavy weights. If the patient is a child then the doctor May recommend staying in a hospital for a week.
What happens if the appendix is left untreated?
If the appendix is not remove in time the infection can spread to the abdominal wall and other organs leading to serious health complications such as sepsis. This is a life-threatening condition. It can also cause an abscess to form in the abdomen and lead to a hole in the wall of the intestine.
Prevention from the appendix:
The patient cannot prevent the inflammation of the appendix but he can talk to his doctor as soon as he experiences its symptoms.