What is Appendicitis
Appendicitis is caused by a bacterial infection that leads to inflammation of the appendix. This narrow, worm-shaped organ comes off the large intestine. Although the appendix has no specific function, it can become obstructed by a feces nodule or tumor which causes swelling and infection. If it is not treated promptly, there is a chance that the appendix will burst, spilling fecal material into the abdominal cavity requiring emergency surgery.
There are many symptoms of appendicitis. They include:
- abdominal pain;
- pain that worsens with body movement;
- difficulty breathing;
- constipation altering with diarrhea;
- loss of appetite;
- painful urination and blood in the urine.
A physical exam is needed to rule out other disorders with similar symptoms. Digital rectal exams, along with blood and urine tests give good indication of appendicitis. Additionally, a CT (Computed Tomography) scan and an abdominal x-ray may be taken.
If the diagnosis is acute appendicitis, then surgery is needed to remove the infected appendix.
With advances in surgical techniques, this is no longer a risky operation. The patient is usually out of bed in a day or two and full recovery only takes a few weeks.
The surgery is done through a small incision or with special laparoscopic instruments while the patient is under general anesthesia. During the operation, Dr. Aldoroty's surgical team ties off and cuts the blood vessels that feed the appendix. Then the appendix is tied off near its connection to the cecum—a pouch like portion of the large intestine—and carefully cut free without allowing the infected contents to spill into the abdominal cavity. The operation usually takes less than one hour and Dr. Aldoroty's patients report only minor post-operative discomfort.
Please contact Dr. Aldoroty's office to learn more about all of the individualized, complete, and advanced medical procedures available to meet your healthcare needs.
For your convenience, his office is open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m., and by appointment.