appendectomy is the surgical removal
of an inflamed or infected appendix
appendix is attached to
the large intestine at the point where the
small intestine ends and the colon begins.
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix.
Inflammation can occur when there is a blockage
at the opening of the appendix into the
large bowel. This blockage can sometimes
be due to stool blocking the opening. When
inflammation of the appendix occurs a person
may experience certain symptoms.Treatment
for appendicitis is surgical removal, or
appendectomy, if the inflammation is contained
to one area. If the inflammation progresses,
the appendix can burst. If the appendix
bursts then the infection can spread to
the abdomen. If the appendix does burst
before surgery, the surgeon may want to
treat the infection first and then do surgery
at a later time.
to the development of minimally invasive
surgery, surgeons traditionally performed
an open incision and removal of the appendix.
This technique required a larger incision
to remove the appendix. Now patients commonly
have a laparoscopic appendectomy, which
is one of many minimally invasive procedures
allowing the surgeon to perform the same
surgery through a smaller incision benefiting
the patient with less pain after surgery
and a shorter hospital stay.You can expect
to have three to four small abdominal incisions
after surgery usually covered with a small
band-aid. Some patients may have a drain
after surgery that nursing staff will teach
you how to care for at home. Many patients
experience a minimal amount of pain/discomfort
after surgery. When cleared by your physician
you will be able to get out of bed and walk,
begin to start eating, and be discharged
appendix is a small, finger-shaped pouch
of intestinal tissue extending from the
cecum, which is the first part of the large
intestine. Blockage of the opening of the
appendix into the bowel by a hard small
stool fragment (fecalith) is believed to
be a frequent cause of appendicitis. The
infected appendix must be surgically removed
(emergency appendectomy), because if it
becomes perforated (leaks), this can lead
to infection of the entire abdominal space
(peritonitis), which can be fatal.
surgery is done while the patient is unconscious
and pain-free (using general anesthesia).
A small incision is made in the right lower
quadrant of the abdomen and the appendix
is removed. Alternatively, the appendix
may be removed laparoscopically (with a
smaller incision, using a tiny camera to
visualize the area).If
a pocket of infection (abscess) has formed
or the appendix has ruptured, the abdomen
will be thoroughly washed out during surgery
and a small tube may be left in to help
drain out fluids or pus.
Appendix removal is necessary in cases of
acute appendicitis. Symptoms of acute appendicitis
pain (located in the lower right side)
Your health care provider will:
Check your abdomen for tenderness and
Check your rectum for tenderness and
an enlarged appendix
Check your blood for an increase in
white blood cells (WBC)
Imaging studies will likely be used.
is no test to confirm appendicitis, and
the symptoms may be caused by other illnesses.
The health care provider must diagnose the
condition based on the information you report
and what he or she finds from tests and
physical examination. Even
if the surgeon finds that the appendix is
not infected (which happens up to 25% of
the time), he or she will thoroughly check
the other abdominal organs and remove the
appendix anyway in order to prevent future
are three body views (front, back and side)
that may be helpful if you are uncertain
of a body area. Many areas are referred
to by both descriptive and technical names.
For example, the back of the knee is called
the popliteal fossa. However, areas like
the "flank" may not have both
names, so the location may be unclear.
esophagus, stomach, large and small intestine,
aided by the liver, gallbladder and pancreas
convert the nutritive components of food
into energy and break down the non-nutritive
components into waste to be excreted.
through a series of illustrations for Appendectomy.
Expectations after Surgery
Recovery from a simple appendectomy is usually
complete and rapid. If the appendix has
developed an abscess or ruptured, the recovery
will be slower and more complicated, requiring
use of medications to treat the infection
without an appendix causes no known health
Convalescence & Recovery
Convalescence is usually short and most
patients leave the hospital in one to three
days after the operation. Normal activities
can be resumed within one to three weeks
after leaving the hospital.
Risks for any anesthesia include the following:
Risks for any surgery include the following:
Additional risks for appendectomy that occurs
with a ruptured appendix include the following:
Longer hospital stays
Untreated acute appendicitis can be deadly.
If you have symptoms suggestive of appendicitis
(pain in the lower right abdomen, fever,
loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting)
seek emergency health care promptly
(see your doctor immediately, call 911
or other local emergency number, or
get to the emergency room).
DO NOT use heating pads, enemas, laxatives,
or other home treatment.
to "General & Endoscopy Surgery"