Appendicitis: What are the signs?

Abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting … What if your child had appendicitis? This abrupt inflammation of the small outgrowth called the appendix affects 1 in 15 people, mainly between 10 and 30 years. In the case of persistent pain in the lower abdomen, on the right side, it is recommended to consult a doctor as appendicitis requires an active medical management to avoid complications.

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Appendicitis: What are the signs?
Appendicitis: What are the signs?

Appendicitis: What is it due to?

Long considered to be useless, the appendix participates, with other organs, in the production of immunoglobulin, that is to say, antibodies involved in the functioning of our immune system. It, therefore, plays a small role but is not essential.

This little outgrowth characterized by its worm form may be the site of a sudden inflammation caused by a bacterial proliferation, the causes of which are many (Obstruction by fecal matter, accumulation of mucus or tumor, or thickening of the lymphoid tissue).

When to worry?

Any pain that is felt persistently in the lower abdomen and to the right should be the subject of a medical consultation. If your child is feverish and vomits, it is even recommended to go quickly to a hospital emergency room.

Tip: Avoid giving him food or drink before going to the hospital as this may delay a surgical procedure. You can nevertheless moisten the lips if he is thirsty.

How to recognize it?

The symptoms of appendicitis are characterized by their evolution. Thus, abdominal pain is first felt in the navel before extending to the lower right area of the abdomen. Without medical care, the pain gradually intensifies until spreading from the navel to the pubic bone.

Caution: in children, this pain may be less localized. The pressure exerted then released at this level, a coughing straight or even walking aggravate the pain. Symptoms include:

  • The lack of appetite,
  • A moderate fever,
  • nausea,
  • vomitings,
  • of intestinal disorders: diarrhea, constipation, flatulence …
  • Abdominal stiffness.

Appendicitis: an inevitable intervention?

When an appendicitis attack is diagnosed, its removal is the only possible treatment. This is called appendectomy. The advances in medicine and diagnostic methods (exploratory laparoscopy) have considerably reduced their number and duration of hospitalization. The majority of appendectomies are now performed under laparoscopy, which limits medical follow-up.

What complications?

Perforation of the appendix is the significant risk of complications of untreated appendicitis. A perforated appendage may result in peritonitis (infection of the entire pelvis and abdomen) or peri-appendicular abscess.

It should be noted that the risks of perforation increase with a delay in medical care. In other words, the longer you wait to see, the greater the risk of complications. In very rare cases, appendicitis can cause:

  • An intestinal obstruction: the appendicular inflammation stops the normal functioning of the muscle of the intestine and no longer allows the natural evacuation of its contents.
  • A septicemia: it occurs when bacteria proliferate out of the appendix via the blood system.

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