Appendicitis is the condition that arises with the inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is an extension of the intestine which exists in all of us from birth. Appendicitis was discussed by Dr. Stefano Bona, Head of the Unit of General Surgery and Day Surgery at Humanitas and host of Life Objective broadcasted on Rai Radio Uno .

The appendix is a prolongation of the intestine, which is located in the first part of the large intestine. Typically the appendix becomes inflamed when it’s hollow part is obstructed, which is quite thin compared to the gut. If light is blocked, the mucus that stagnates may cause an infection or inflammation due to the presence of bacteria in the gut. Appendicitis is the most frequently encountered disease of the Appendix. It can affect all age groups and is more common in those under the age of 14.

Symptoms of appendicitis

You cannot prevent the inflammation of the appendix, but it is important to recognize the symptoms quickly. The symptoms can be mild and cause vague digestive disturbances and a modest pain. But they can also be more serious and acute (such as in peritonitis) and constitute an emergency which needs immediate medical attention and often intervention.

The main symptom is pain located at the bottom/right of the navel area. The pain can be of varying degrees, depending on the severity of the infection and inflammation. Other symptoms may include: nausea, vomiting (in the later stages), fever (in the most serious cases), abnormal blood tests. It is however essential the you get a surgeon’s evaluation for the correct diagnosis.

How to proceed in case of appendicitis?

In case of acute appendicitis, with the risk of peritonitis, it is necessary to intervene with surgery. In other cases an antibiotic therapy may be provided or you can opt to proceed with surgery. As long as your doctor has excluded other causes and it is therefore certain that it is appendicitis.

The intervention, in most cases, is performed with laparoscopy of the abdomen with the use of a camera that allows the complete exploration.