Appendicitis Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Appendicitis Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


Appendicitis, or in medical terms, it is called appendicitis, is inflammation of the appendix or appendix.

The appendix is ​​a part of the digestive system, namely the large intestine.

This section protrudes from the right side of the large intestine which resembles a worm tuft. So far, it is not known what the function of the appendix is, because humans can live without it.

In addition, appendicitis can be experienced by all ages. However, this condition most often occurs between the ages of 18-35 years. This disease is rarely found in children under 2 years of age.

Appendicitis Symptoms

Appendicitis can occur in both acute (requiring immediate action) and chronic conditions.

However, in general, symptoms of appendicitis can include:

  • Discomfort in the stomach
  • Pain in the middle of the stomach can radiate to the lower right abdomen
  • Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen
  • Nauseous
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Difficult CHAPTER
  • Hard to walk
  • Decreased appetite
  • It’s hard to pass wind

In addition, other symptoms that can arise are:

  • Dull or sharp pain in the upper or lower abdomen, back, or rectum
  • Pain when urinating
  • Vomiting before abdominal pain appears
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Terrible stomach cramps

If the above symptoms occur, immediately consult a doctor so that they can be treated immediately and appropriately.

Appendicitis Reason

The cause of appendicitis begins with an obstruction in the appendix. This blockage can be caused by a foreign body, stool, or tumor

Infection can also cause obstruction in the appendix. Why is that? As a natural response, the appendix will swell if there is an infection in the body.

Risk Factors

A person is at a higher risk of developing appendicitis if:

  • Less consumption of fibrous foods
  • Chronic constipation
  • Infection in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Inflammation of the colon
  • Colon (large intestine) tumor


Appendicitis can be difficult to diagnose unless the symptoms are typical. Appendicitis symptoms are often vague or similar to other complaints involving the digestive organs, urinary tract, or reproductive organs.

The severity of the symptoms also depends on the position of the appendix which can vary from person to person.

Examinations that are generally performed to diagnose appendicitis are:

  • Medical interview regarding symptoms of abdominal pain
  • Physical examination of the abdomen (especially the typical examination for appendicitis)
  • Urine examination to rule out urinary tract infection
  • Digital rectal examination
  • Blood tests to check for infection
  • Ultrasound and/or CT scan to see if the appendix is ​​swollen
  • Pregnancy test for women (to rule out differential diagnoses such as ruptured ectopic pregnancy)

If the diagnosis is still in doubt, it is possible that the doctor will recommend waiting and seeing changes in symptoms within 24 hours or observation.

Appendicitis Treatment

If you are diagnosed with appendicitis, the doctor will provide several treatments. 

1. Provide pain relievers

People with appendicitis usually experience symptoms of mild to severe abdominal pain. Therefore, the initial treatment of appendicitis is generally carried out by administering drugs. 

This drug aims to help relieve symptoms of pain to fever.

2. Administration of antibiotics

Usually, the doctor will also give antibiotics to treat the infection that occurs in these cases. Moreover, if the condition of the appendix is ​​already severe, it is generally susceptible to bacterial infections. 

3. Appendectomy or Appendectomy

The main way to treat appendicitis is with a surgical procedure to remove the appendix or appendectomy. This is done to avoid the risk of rupture of the appendix.

An appendectomy is performed by a surgeon under general anesthesia by means of open (laparotomy) or laparoscopic (minimizing incision) surgery.

However, laparoscopy cannot be done if the appendix has ruptured or a pocket of pus (abscess) appears.

If the appendix has formed an abscess, fluid and pus will be removed accompanied by antibiotics.

New operations can be performed a few weeks later after the infection is resolved.

Healing through laparoscopy will be faster and less painful. Most patients can go home within 24 hours.

However, pain can also last for about a week. Constipation can also be experienced. To reduce these complaints, it is recommended to consume fibrous foods and drink enough.

As for uncomplicated laparotomy, most patients can go home after 48 hours.

Complaints that generally arise after laparotomy are pain and bruising in the surgical wound. These complaints will improve over time.

Pain medication can also be used if necessary. Healing will take longer if the appendix ruptures and causes peritonitis.

To speed up postoperative wound healing, there are several efforts you can do at home, such as:

  • Limit activities for 3-5 days post-laparoscopic or 10-14 days post-laparotomy. Always consult the treating doctor, regarding what activities need to be limited and when you can do normal activities after surgery.

Strenuous activities, such as intense sports or fitness, can only be done after 2-4 weeks after surgery.

  • When coughing, laughing, or moving, put pressure on the stomach (for example by placing a pillow) so that the pain is reduced.
  • Start with light physical activity, for example by walking. Then, increase gradually when the body feels ready and able.
  • During the postoperative recovery period, the patient will feel sleepy more often than usual. Therefore, immediately rest when feeling tired.

Meanwhile, the drug given will be adjusted to the patient’s condition and the surgeon’s consideration.

Before surgery, patients will be given NSAIDs to relieve pain, antipyretics to reduce fever, and antibiotics to treat bacterial infections.


Here are some efforts that can be done to prevent appendicitis:

  • Consumption of high-fiber foods (vegetables and fruit)
  • Meet the need for fluids
  • Avoid foods that trigger intestinal inflammation
  • Treat constipation immediately
  • Screening if there are family members with a history of colon tumors


If the condition of acute appendicitis is not treated properly and promptly, the appendix can rupture or perforate.

This condition can cause an infection to spread to all the abdominal organs (peritonitis) or stomach, even to the whole body, which we call sepsis. 

This condition of severe infection can be fatal to cause death.

When to See a Doctor?

If you experience the characteristics of appendicitis above, do an examination with the nearest doctor to be assessed directly.

Moreover, if you are unable to defecate or pass wind accompanied by a hard stomach resembling a board. This condition requires immediate action and is classified as an emergency.

After surgery, immediately contact the treating doctor if pain medications don’t help.

Disturbing pain will make the body more “stressed” and slow down the healing process.

During the healing process, infection can occur in the surgical wound. When this condition occurs, immediately contact the doctor.

Here are some symptoms you can recognize:

  • Increasing pain and swelling in the surgical wound
  • Repeated vomiting
  • High fever
  • There is fluid or pus coming out of the surgical wound
  • The surgical wound feels warm or hot to touch

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