Appendicitis and Meckel’s diverticulum – connection

Appendicitis and Meckel’s diverticulum connection

Appendicitis and Meckel’s diverticulum connection


Appendicitis, most common in teenagers and young adults, is inflammation of the appendix together with obstruction of its intestinal opening. Symptoms include pain, fever and tenderness in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen, although tenderness at first can be located more centrally. Nausea and vomiting are typical, too, but not always present. Constipation (or , in some instances, diarrhea) is likely to be a symptom. Pain is made worse by deep breathing, coughing or sneezing. What can be confusing is the tendency of appendicitis pain occasionally to appear on other locations.

Different diseases sometimes are mistaken for it and vice versa, especially in the elderly and young children. Surgery is essential for appendicitis victims. Few risks are connected with appendicitis; the principal ones – the danger of rupture and the spread of infection – occur if surgery is delayed.
Caution: if anyone in your household complains symptoms associated with appendicitis, do not apply heat or cold compresses, or give food or laxatives – get that person to a hospital.

Meckel’s diverticulum

If you have those kinds of symptoms mentioned above, your surgeon thought you might have an appendicitis attack and then he found out you had Meckel’s diverticulum. Meckel’s diverticulum, which is found in only about 2 percent of people, is a finger-like pocket or pouch a few centimeters long located near the junction of the small intestine and the colon. The pocket is present at birth but normally atrophies within a few years and causes no problems. When it persists into adult life, however, the pouch can become inflamed and, because it is located so close to the appendix, the symptoms it produces can mimic those of an inflamed appendix. As a result when a patient is operated on for what is presumed to be appendicitis, and an inflamed diverticulum is discovered, the inflamed pocket is removed instead of the appendix.


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