Healthy Living

Is Appendicitis a Lifelong Condition?

Is Appendicitis a Lifelong Condition?

Key Takeaways

  • Appendicitis can be recognized by an acute, sharp sort of pain on the right side of the abdomen.
  • Appendicitis can be acute or chronic, the common acute one is usually caused by a stomach infection which has spread to an appendix or it can also be caused by obstruction such as hardened stools, foreign objects or even ulcers. However, sometimes the appendiceal lumen will only be partially obstructed, thus resulting in chronic appendicitis.
  • Appendicitis can be treated either through an open operation where doctors make substantial incisions to remove the abdomen or by making minute incisions for a faster recovery. 

What is Appendicitis?

In order to understand whether the condition of appendicitis is a lifelong condition or not, we should first be aware of what the condition is about, which body part is affected and what the person suffering from appendicitis needs to go through. Because knowing all this will help in understanding why some forms of appendicitis are a  life-long condition and why some are not.

This disease affects the appendix (that is quite evident from the name); the appendix is a small tube–like structure attached to the large intestine. The part of the intestine to which the appendix is connected is called colon. The appendix is a non-functional part or organ of the body and its removal causes no change in the body, especially the digestive system.

Appendicitis

In appendicitis, inflammation of appendix happens i.e. enlargement of an appendix to non-proportional lengths and the biggest problem of this condition is that once it starts, there is no medical therapy that can stop it or slow it down, hence it becomes a medical emergency. When treated as soon as possible, most patients recover without difficulty, but if not treated at the right time, the appendix can burst to cause death or infection. Though appendicitis can happen to anyone, it generally occurs between the ages of 10-30.

Is Appendicitis a Lifelong Condition?

Countless doctors around the world have contributed their time and effort to make modern medicine what it is today. They work hard to ensure that patients have access to the best possible treatment options for their conditions, such as effective medicines, surgeries, and therapies.

Appendicitis is one of the conditions that medical researchers have learned most about since it was first discovered. Appendicitis a medical term which refers to an infection of the appendix, characterized by inflammation and an appendix filled with pus. Pus is a homogeneous mixture of different dead cells acquired in the body. In the case of appendicitis, the pus settles down in the appendix (a minute organ affiliated with the large intestine of the body). Experts have recently stated that the appendix resembles the human finger and is a pouch-like structure.

Chronic Appendicitis

Appendicitis has always had a variety of complications regarding its infection and removal. This is because the function of the organ itself is still unknown to many people today. Some doctors have claimed it to be useless because normal, healthy people are able to function well without their appendix. The infection of this structure (appendicitis) is marked by a sharp, acute pain in the abdomen which interferes with daily activities and life. Throughout recent years, however, another form of appendicitis has been identified as a chronic condition. The pain in cases of chronic appendicitis may be the same type of pain as acute appendicitis, but temporary and with less intensity.

What are the Symptoms for Appendicitis?

Though chronic appendicitis deals with an organ that is largely unnecessary, it can still cause severe pain and require prompt medical treatment. 

The identification of chronic appendicitis can be made by physical symptoms such as:

  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • The feeling of agitation and nausea
  • High fever
  • Loss of appetite

What is the difference between Acute Appendicitis and Chronic Appendicitis?

When people are talking about appendicitis, they are generally talking about the acute one in which the pain starts from the abdominal region around the belly button and then slowly intensifies and moves to the lower right region.

The other symptoms of acute appendicitis are:-

Acute appendicitis is actually caused by a stomach infection which has spread to an appendix or it can also be caused by obstruction such as hardened stools, foreign objects or even ulcers. If not treated in time, the appendix may rupture and will cause more serious stomach infections.

However, sometimes the appendiceal lumen will only be partially obstructed thus resulting in chronic appendicitis. The reasons for this partial obstruction are:-

  • Calcified fecal deposits called fecaliths
  • Tumors
  • Foreign objects such as pins, stones, and bullets
  • When lymph tissue located on the wall of the appendix is enlarged

In chronic appendicitis, the inflammation will worsen over time also and the internal pressure will also build or tend to increase, but instead of bursting the appendix, it will overcome the partial obstruction and the contents of the appendix will be released out of the pouch, causing infections. But when this happens the symptoms of appendicitis will subside partially or fully. But this removal of symptoms of appendicitis can be temporary as they can come back when the appendix is inflamed again. So one should always seek proper treatment even if you feel that the symptoms have subsided.

The complications of untreated chronic appendicitis can be serious and life-threatening. But these complications can be avoided by taking the proper treatment plan suggested especially for you by your doctor.

Some of the complications that can occur as a result of chronic appendicitis are:-

  • Acute appendicitis, which in many cases creates a medical emergency
  • Ruptured appendix
  • Severe systemic infections also are known as sepsis
  • Inflammation of the lining of the abdomen known as peritonitis

The doctor may suggest or prescribe analgesic medication for the relief from symptoms.

What are the Treatments for Appendicitis?

Though in the past, appendicitis was a prolonged problem that affected people throughout their entire lives, modern techniques have made possible a specific operation to cure appendicitis which has been described in two simple forms.

The first type of operation is an open operation which involves doctors making substantial incisions in the abdomen and removing the abdomen. The second method of operation involves the use of minute incisions for a faster recovery in a short amount of time.

Both of these treatments require the complete removal of the infected appendix, which eliminates appendicitis as a lifelong problem for patients. Post-surgery, patients are stitched up and given antibiotics to prevent further infection. Therefore, appendicitis is no longer a lifelong condition and is not something to fear.