Common Name/Other Name
The appendix is a small organ attached to the end of the large intestine. There is no known function of the appendix, but recent studies hypothesize that it might be important in the immunity system of the body. Appendicitis is a medical emergency caused by a blockage of appendix resulting in inflammation. If an inflamed appendix is not immediately treated, it can burst and spill infectious contents into the abdomen leading to a serious inflammation. The blockage can be due to thick mucus or stool. It commonly occurs in ages 10 to 30 years old.
The diagnosis of appendicitis is primarily based on the patient’s medical history and physical examination. The usual symptoms are abdominal pain and tenderness. The pain can start in the middle of the upper abdomen or the navel and shift to the lower right of the abdomen after a few hours. The pain usually increases when coughing or moving. A confirmatory diagnosis such as complete blood count can be done to confirm bacterial infection and eliminate similar conditions.
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
- IV antibiotics such as cephalosporins are given before appendectomy. This is continued if the removed appendix has holes or already burst.
- Pain relievers can be prescribed for pain after an appendectomy.