The large intestine begins from cecum and ends at the anus. Appendix is a thin finger like tube about 8 to 10 cm long connected to the cecum. There is no clarity on a definite role of appendix in the body. However, some researchers believe it helps the healthy bacterial flora to reestablish after a severe intestinal infection.
Appendicitis is inflammation of appendix. Severe right lower quadrant abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, are prominent symptoms of appendicitis. It is a serious abdominal condition which requires prompt medical attention.
Any delay in treatment may lead to a complication like rupture of appendix.It may be complete tear or a partial tear depending on the inflammation. However, in both cases the condition is serious causing high mortality.
What Causes Partial Rupture Of Appendix?
Inflammation and infection of appendix can occur due to several reasons. Recurrent infection in intestine such as amoebic colitis can cause swelling of the appendix. Sometimes appendix lumen gets blocked with dried fecal material, called fecolith.
When the appendix is obstructed, bacteria living inside the appendix multiply at a faster pace. As a result appendix becomes inflamed and gets filled with pus. The pus is thick containing dead organisms and white blood cells.The blocked content in the appendix causes pressure inside the appendix which leads to pressure on the blood vessel. As a result blood flow to walls of appendix decreases and ultimately leads to death of the tissue.
At certain point the walls of appendix becomes extremely thin. The wall cannot bear the internal pressure and it bursts. The collected dead material and pus spills in the abdominal cavity and into the peritoneum from a partial or large tear.
Partially Ruptured Appendix Complications
A partial tear can lead to development of abscess which may become life threatening if the content is spread into the blood stream. Patient may suffer from extremely serious condition called septicemia.
An appendicular abscess due to partial rupture can develop similar symptoms as those of acute appendicitis such as vomiting, fever; however in the beginning after the rupture pain may become less for some time.
Patient may also experience bloating of abdomen with weak peristaltic movement.
Treatment For Partially Ruptured Appendix
The treatment of partial rupture of appendix may depend on the time when it is detected. If the patient has been examined by the doctor within few hours after the rupture, the doctor may opt for surgical removal of the appendix.
During the surgery the peritoneal cavity is washed to remove the pus. Strong antibiotics are administered to control the infection and prevent septicemia. Nutritional requirement is maintained by intravenous fluids.
However, if an abscess has formed around the appendix, doctors usually wait for removal of appendix till the abscess has healed. During this period strong antibiotics are administered to curtail the infection and reduce the swelling. Once the abscess has completely healed, the appendix is removed surgically.