Why Choose Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Acute Appendicitis Treatment?
At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our highly skilled general surgeons provide patients with the most innovative diagnostic techniques and best surgical care when it comes to dealing with medical emergencies like acute appendicitis.
Appendicitis is the acute inflammation of the appendix, a small pouch that is found on the lower-right side of the abdomen. The appendix is shaped like a tube and is attached to the large intestine and is sometimes referred to as the vermiform appendix. This small tube-shaped organ is responsible for holding all of the good bacteria that help aid in normal digestion and fight off digestive infections. Appendicitis is a medical emergency. When a patient experiences the symptoms of appendicitis, they should seek medical care immediately. If left untreated, the appendix could rupture, leading to the rapid spread of infection in the abdominal cavity, or peritonitis.
Surgical Procedures Performed at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital for Acute Appendicitis
A diagnosis for appendicitis will require the removal of the appendix or an appendectomy. Your surgeon will choose one of the following procedures depending on your case:
- Open Appendectomy: When performing this type of procedure, the appendix is removed through a standard abdominal incision, which can result in a considerable amount of discomfort for the patient.
- Laparoscopic Appendectomy: For this procedure, the surgeon inserts a small scope through tiny abdominal incisions. The precision of this operation leads to a much faster recovery and a smaller amount of physical discomfort for the patient.
Drugs and Other Treatments Needed for Acute Appendicitis
The most common type of treatment for acute appendicitis has always been the surgical removal of the organ. However, a series of recent studies have shown that a large number of patients suffering from milder forms of appendicitis can respond well to antibiotics and avoid any surgical procedures.
Antibiotic Therapy »
Cold Compress »
Hot Bath »
There are three different types of appendicitis:
Chronic Appendicitis »
Acute Appendicitis »
Recurrent Appendicitis »
Symptoms of Acute Appendicitis
Some of the most common symptoms found in patients suffering from appendicitis are:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Loss of appetite
- Tenderness and swelling in the abdominal area
- Bloating and inability to pass gas
- Progressively worsening abdominal pain, especially in the lower right side of the abdomen
Diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis
Appendicitis is usually diagnosed by a physical examination, generally followed by different laboratory or imaging tests. Because the symptoms of appendicitis are extremely similar to those associated with a large number of other ailments, it is very difficult for doctors to make a quick appendicitis diagnosis. Some of the techniques used to diagnose appendicitis include:
- Physical Examination: A doctor palpates the abdomen of the patient to find tender or painful spots. The examination can also include a rectal examination, a gynecologic examination for women, or the examination of genitals for men, as the symptoms of appendicitis are similar to those of ectopic pregnancy in women or testicular torsion or other genital problems in men.
- Blood Tests: A patient's white blood cell count is analyzed to see whether an infection is present or not.
- Urinalysis: This test is performed to rule out the infection of the urinary tract or kidneys.
- Imaging Tests: Abdominal X-rays, ultrasounds, or computed tomography (CT) scans, are often used for a more in-depth examination.
Risk Factors for Acute Appendicitis
- Age: Appendicitis is more likely to affect children and young adults. It occurs mostly in patients between the ages of 10 and 30 years old.
- Infection: An infection that occurs in the gastrointestinal section increases the likelihood of an appendix infection.
- Traumatized Appendix: Appendicitis can occur if the appendix suffered an injury, risking its rupture.
- A Low-Fiber Diet: Low-fiber diets increase the risk for constipation, which can lead to stools becoming trapped in the appendix and appendicitis.
Causes of Acute Appendicitis
Acute appendicitis is the result of the interior of the lumen (appendix) being blocked. This blockage leads to inflammation, increased pressure, and restricted blood flow. If the appendix is not removed, it may rupture and cause serious infection.
Acute appendicitis can only be treated with surgery in most cases. Delaying its treatment and diagnosis can result in extremely severe complications, such as sepsis and peritonitis. Before using any alternative treatment in connection to appendicitis, one must seek professional medical advice. That being said, there are some alternative treatments and home remedies that might alleviate the pain associated with appendicitis:
- Mint and Basil: Mint is a plant known for its therapeutic benefits, such as reducing fever, helping with digestion problems, and reducing the chances of nausea and vomiting. Mint and basil also have antibacterial properties. Consuming peppermint and basil tea might alleviate some of the symptoms associated with appendicitis.
- Castor Oil: Castor oil is known for relieving the symptoms associated with an intestinal blockage and for reducing inflammation. Taken orally, it can treat constipation and improve bowel movement, thus being beneficial when dealing with the symptoms of appendicitis.
- Ginger and Garlic: Ginger is considered to be an effective cure for relieving the pain associated with appendicitis. Garlic is known for its antibacterial properties. Both raw ginger and powdered ginger are useful in treating appendicitis-related pain. Another common practice is combining ginger and turmeric as a treatment for pain and inflammation. Ginger is also considered a good remedy for nausea and vomiting, which are some of the common symptoms of appendicitis. However, ingesting too much ginger can have side effects, especially if you are suffering from other ailments.
In general, appendicitis cannot be prevented. The only possible preventive measure one can take is consuming a high-fiber diet. According to some studies, when people add more fiber, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables to their meals, there is a smaller incidence of appendicitis. Considering the fact that we cannot prevent appendicitis, we can at least prevent it from becoming severe by:
- Medical Advice: Seek the help of a medical professional whenever you exhibit symptoms of appendicitis.
- Diet: By following a healthy, well-balanced diet, you may reduce the risk of appendicitis and prevent the aggravation of its symptoms.
- Water: It is imperative to drink enough water, especially when dealing with conditions such as appendicitis. Staying hydrated will help cleanse your bowels.
Are you experiencing symptoms of appendicitis? You can learn more about it and its treatment by getting in touch with our specially-trained general surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.