What is the Appendix?

The appendix is a small finger-shaped organ attached to the caecum (first part of the colon). Its function is unknown. Blockage of the appendix because of infection, cancer, stool or foreign body leads to appendicitis, the inflammation of the appendix.

What are the symptoms of appendicitis?

Appendicitis is characterised by abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.

How is appendicitis diagnosed?

Appendicitis is often a clinical diagnosis confirmed by certain tests if necessary. Some of the tests that your doctor may order to diagnose appendicitis include an inspection of your abdomen for inflammation, blood and urine test and imaging studies such as CT scan and/or ultrasound.

What are the consequences of not treating appendicitis?

Left untreated, appendicitis can be life-threatening. It can perforate or burst, releasing infectious substances into the abdominal cavity.

What are the options for appendicitis treatment?

The standard treatment for appendicitis is the surgical removal of the appendix either by laparotomy, or more usual today, laparoscopic or keyhole technique.

What are the alternate treatments for appendicitis?

Some studies indicate that antibiotics may help treat appendicitis.


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