Appendicitis: Pathology

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Tina Barth January 4. 2012
Appendicitis is a pathology linked to the appendix. As with all other pathology, appendicitis is a condition with a specific definition, symptoms, and appearance. The appendix is a pouch-like tissue that extends from the large intestine and is approximately 3.5 inches long. The appendix is a curious body part because although it is not vital to human survival, it can cause death. According the the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, Appendicitis is an inflammation of the vermiform appendix; also called epityphlitis. Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes blocked by either stool, a foreign body, cancer or an infection (in which case the appendix swells in response to any bodily infection.) The main clinical signs and symptoms of Appendicitis are an aching abdominal pain that begins around the navel and becomes sharper over several hours. Another sign is rebound tenderness to applied pressure to the lower right sector of the abdomen; the location of the appendix. With that being said, the locus of pain may vary depending on age and the position of the appendix; especially in young children and pregnant women. Another symptom is the inability to sit and heightened pain when walking, coughing, or other movement. A few other symptoms are as follows: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, constipation, inability to pass gas, diarrhea, abdominal swelling. The usual treatment for appendicitis is surgery and removal of the appendix called an Appendectomy. If the appendix has burst an abscess can form around it in which case the abscess must be drained through a tube before the appendectomy.

“The normal appendix presents as a small, easily compressible, concentrically layered, mobile, blindending, sausage-like structure. The diameter is usually less than 7 mm, but is incidentally large. The normal appendix is mobile, may have a collapsed lumen, but also may contain air or some fecal material, and rarely a little...
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