Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is The Usual Diagnostic Procedure?

The diagnosis of appendicitis may vary from person to person depending upon the symptoms. It can be tricky as they are similar to other complaints, such as bladder, stomach, intestine or urinary related problems. The doctor will ask for a brief medical history of the patient and proceed accordingly. Pressure on the abdominal area is applied to see whether the pain increases or not. If your physician is not too sure whether you have appendicitis, you may have to wait in the hospital for a long time before a decision to perform surgery is made. Here are the usual tests conducted during diagnosis:

  1. Abdominal examination
  2. Urine test
  3. Rectal exam
  4. Blood tests
  5. CT scans, X rays and/or an ultrasound

What Kinds Of Treatment Options Are Available?

There is no way to cure appendicitis after it has developed, surgery is the only treatment. There are two types of appendicitis surgery – the first one is the appendectomy or appendicectomy and the second is laparoscopy.

Appendectomy

This is the most common treatment for acute appendicitis, where the appendix is at risk of bursting inside the abdominal cavity due to rapid inflammation. The appendix can rupture and spill the infection into the bloodstream. Before the surgery, antibiotics are normally prescribed as there are chances of peritonitis. During an appendectomy, general anesthesia is given to the patient and an incision two to three inches in length is made through the abdominal cavity above the area of the appendix – a sterile bandage is used to keep infection at bay. After finding the appendix located at the right lower abdomen, and examining the area around it carefully to ensure that no additional problems exist, the appendix is removed with an abdominal incision. If the patient has peritonitis, the pus needs to be drained from the abdomen. After freeing the appendix, which is attached to the abdomen and colon, it is cut from the colon, and the entire opening is sewn together. While this kind of surgery might seem simple, it has a few disadvantages.

Appendectomy may take longer to heal and might result in more scarring. This is one of the reasons why the other type of surgery is most commonly recommended by doctors.

Laparoscopy

In this surgery, several tiny cuts are made in the abdomen and a miniature camera and surgical instruments are inserted into it. A thin, lighted tube is put through an incision in the belly to look at the abdominal area and find out where exactly the appendix is located. The entire abdominal area can be viewed by the doctor, and this aids in the removal of the appendix with better precision. A laparoscope is a thin and flexible tube that contains a light source and a camera. This camera communicates the images inside the abdomen or pelvis to a television monitor. Both simple and complex surgeries can be done via laparoscopy, with a few small cuts in the abdomen. In some cases, the surgeon may be unable to finish the surgery due to various factors; at such a time a full abdominal incision will have to be made. If the appendix has burst, laparoscopy is no longer an option, as the entire stomach needs to be cleaned thoroughly. In such cases, one big incision will make it easier for the surgeon.

The main advantage with laparoscopy is that there are fewer incisions made on the patient meaning less pain, minimal scarring, and a brief recovery time. Laparoscopic surgery is considered to be a safer and less invasive option compared to the other traditional kinds of surgery.

 

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