Appendectomy

An appendectomy refers to the surgical removal of the appendix. The appendix is a six inches long tube which extends from the large intestine. This surgical procedure is performed for the treatment of appendicitis – a medical condition which causes the inflammation of the appendix. The inflammation of the appendix is mainly due to infection.

Acute appendicitis often necessitates emergency surgery as there is a greater chance of the appendix rupturing and resulting in a severe infection. Hence, the appendix has to be removed as soon as possible.

The appendix can be removed in either of these ways: Open method or Laparoscopic method.

Risks of the procedure

Some of the possible risks include:

  • Infection in the wound

  • Peritonitis or an inflammation of the abdomen caused due to the rupturing of the appendix during surgery

  • Bowel obstruction

During the procedure

An appendectomy is often performed as emergency surgery and may require you to stay in hospital. This procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia.

Open method appendectomy

  • An incision is made in the lower right region of your abdomen.

  • The muscles in the abdomen are separated and the abdominal cavity is opened.

  • After the appendix has been identified, it is tied with sutures and removed.

  • In case the appendix has suddenly ruptured, the abdomen will be completely washed out using saline. A small tube will be placed in the incision in order to fully drain out fluids or pus.

  • The abdominal cavity lining and the abdominal muscles will be closed with stitches.

Laparoscopic method appendectomy

  • A small incision is made to insert the laparoscope. Additional incisions may also be created to insert other equipments during the procedure.

  • Carbon dioxide gas is then introduced into the abdomen so as to inflate the abdominal cavity. This helps the surgeons to clearly visualize the appendix and other organs.

  • The laparoscope is inserted and the appendix is identified.

  • The appendix is then tied off with sutures and removed.

  • After the completion of the procedure, the laparoscope is removed. A small tube is placed in the incision to fully drain out the fluids.

Advantages of laparoscopic appendectomy

A laparoscopic appendectomy may cause minimal pain and scarring when compared to an Open appendectomy. Shorter hospital stay, quick recovery, and low infection rates are some of the other benefits of Laparoscopic appendectomy.

Recovery:

You may be in a position to get up and move around comfortably within 12 hours of the surgery. You can even resume your normal activities in two to three weeks.

However, please notify your doctor immediately if you report any of the following conditions:

  • Persistent fever with chills

  • Redness, inflammation or bleeding from the incision site

  • Severe pain around the incision site

  • Loss of appetite

  • Persistent cough

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Pain in the abdomen, cramping, or swelling

  • Inability to have a bowel movement