The Appendix The appendix is a tube connected to the cecum near the base of the large intestine. It’s located in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. A healthy appendix is on average 10 cm in length, but can be from 2-20 cm. It has a diameter of about 7-8 mm.
The Appendix The appendix is a vestigial structure. This means that it has been concluded that the appendix has no vital function in the human body. This conclusion was made due to the fact that so many people have been able to survive without one. The appendix has been traced back to evolutionary ancestors who probably used it to digest leaves.
Appendicitis Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix. There is a stage of bloating which is generally caused by a blockage in the opening from the appendix to the cecum. – This is formed by a thick layer of mucus or stool blocking the opening When the mucus or stool hardens, it becomes rock-like and forms a blockage. This “rock” is called fecalith. The bacteria which is usually found in the appendix comes under attack from the immune system, causing inflammation. Some cases are small enough to clear themselves, meaning that the body clears the infection without intervention, but most require surgery.
Signs and Symptoms of Appendicitis The symptoms are fever, elevated white blood cell count and abdominal pain. In the initial stages, the pain is “poorly localized,” meaning that it is experienced all over the abdomen and is hard to pinpoint. As the inflammation worsens, it extends to the lining of the abdomen, called the peritoneum. – At this point, the pain is much more localized and can be pinpointed by the patient. The point (known as McBurney’s point) is about halfway between the front of the right side of the pelvis and the belly button.
Complications in Diagnosis Aside from the fact that appendix placement varies from patient to patient, there are many diseases that mimic symptoms of appendicitis. Such diseases include: – Meckel's diverticulitis – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – Right-sided diverticulitis – Various kidney diseases. These can also cause pain and inflammation of organs in the lower right portion of the abdomen.
The Procedure of Appendectomy When the patient is still pre-op, they are put on antibiotics. A regular, uncomplicated appendectomy takes 20-30 minutes from start to finish. The patient is put under anesthesia for the duration of the surgery. The surgeon begins by making 3 small laparoscopic incisions in the lower right quadrant of your abdomen with trocars. They puff up the abdomen by pumping CO 2 into one of the incisions and confirm with a laparoscope that the appendix is red and inflamed.
Procedure continued Surgical instruments are passed through the trocars. The appendix is sealed off at two points to prevent bursting. The surgeon will then cut the appendix between the sealed points. A specimen bag is inserted through one of the trocars and the appendix is placed inside and then removed. Warm salt water is then inserted through a trocar to remove leftover infectious material and then sucked out. Two of the three trocars are removed, the final being left for CO 2 drainage. The surgeon uses sutures or staples to close the incisions and then a bandage is placed on them.
Sources Anatomy: A Regional Atlas Of The Human Body, by Carmine D. Clemente http://www.medicinenet.com/appen dectomy/article.htm http://www.medicinenet.com/appen dectomy/article.htm YouTube: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAp pEy9Umcg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAp pEy9Umcg – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Xm 1WqjqAc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Xm 1WqjqAc
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