What is an Appendectomy

An appendectomy is a surgical procedure that removes an infected appendix from the abdomen to get relief from a condition known as appendicitis. It is a condition of inflammation of the appendix. An appendix is a small tube-shaped organ in the upper part of the large intestine. If the appendix is not removed, it may burst, spilling infectious material into the bloodstream and abdomen, posing a major health risk

Symptoms of appendicitis include

The main symptom of appendicitis is severe pain in the abdomen, usually in the lower right. The onset of pain is sudden and gets worse over time. Some people may experience other symptoms of appendicitis such as

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Inability to pass gas
appendectomy symptoms

Benefits of Appendectomy

  • The surgery will provide protection against infections like peritonitis.
  • It is the simplest and quickest way to treat appendicitis
  • Reduces the risk of appendix rupture.
  • Helps to treat abscesses caused by a ruptured appendix.

Why Is an Appendectomy Performed?

If the patient has any symptoms of appendicitis then they might need an appendectomy to remove the appendix. There is a substantial chance that the appendix will burst or rupture if you have appendicitis. This might happen within 48 to 72 hours of the onset of symptoms. It can induce peritonitis, a life-threatening infection in the stomach. If you develop symptoms of appendicitis, visit the doctor immediately.

Preparation Before an Appendectomy

  • The surgery will be explained by the Doctor.
  • Before the surgery, patients must fast for 8 hours
  • Make sure the doctor has a list of all the medications, both prescription and over-the-counter that the patient used to have earlier.
  • Before the surgery, the patient will be given a sedative to get relaxed
  • If the patient is allergic to or sensitive to latex, medications, tape, or anaesthetic medicines, talk to the doctor

How is an Appendectomy Performed

The appendix can be removed using one of the two methods: Open appendectomy and Laparoscopic appendectomy

Open Appendectomy

  • If the appendix has ruptured and the infection has spread to other organs, the doctor may recommend an open appendectomy. It is also the preferred option for people who have previously undergone abdominal surgery.
  • The appendix is removed using a 2 to 4-inch long cut or incision.
  • The surgeon will make only one incision in the lower right side of the abdomen during an open appendectomy
  • The incision is stitched after the appendix is removed.

Laparoscopic Appendectomy

A laparoscopic appendectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves making a few small incisions rather than one large one to remove the appendix.

The surgeon monitors the screen and performs the surgery to remove the appendix.

  • The appendix is accessed by a surgeon through a few small incisions in the abdomen.
  • A cannula (a small tube) will then be inserted to inject carbon dioxide gas into your abdomen. This gas makes it easier for the surgeon to see the appendix.
  • When the appendix is removed, the small incisions are cleaned, closed, and dressed.
  • For older adults and those who are overweight, laparoscopic surgery is usually the best option.
  • It carries fewer risks than an open appendectomy and has a shorter recovery time.

After Appendectomy Procedure

After the appendectomy, the patient will be monitored for a few hours before being released from the hospital. The vital signs will be closely checked, including the breathing and heart rate. Staff at the hospital will also look for any side effects from the anaesthetic or the surgery. The discharge date will be determined after evaluation below factors:

  • Current physical condition
  • Type of appendectomy performed
  • Impact of surgery on the body

The patient may experience moderate pain in the areas where incisions were made. Any soreness or pain should subside within a few days. To alleviate the pain, the doctor may prescribe medication. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent infection after the surgery.

Risks of Appendectomy

Some possible complications of an appendectomy include:

  • Bleeding
  • Wound infection
  • Infection, redness and swelling
  • Blocked intestines
  • Injury to nearby organs

Appendectomy at Medicover Hospitals

Appendectomy at Medicover Hospital is performed using all the advanced tools, techniques and equipment. We are comprehensively supported by round-the-clock laboratory, ICU, radiology, and emergency services to ensure patients receive the finest level of care on time. The department is staffed with renowned gastroenterologists, capable medical officers, professional and compassionate medical staff, and well-trained technicians.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does an appendectomy take to recover?

Most people will return to normal activities within two to four weeks after leaving the hospital.

2. When is an Appendectomy necessary?

An appendectomy is required when the appendix is swollen, infected, and at the risk of rupture. It can happen 48 to 72 hours after the symptoms appear.

3. How painful is appendix surgery?

The surgery is done under general anesthesia so the pain is not felt. After laparoscopic surgery, one may feel slight pain for about 24 hours.

4. After an appendectomy, how long do you have to stay in the hospital?

In Laparoscopic surgery, you can return home in a day or two after the surgery. In an open surgery, it’s safe to stay for 5-6 days in the hospital. However, hospital stay depends on how well you are recovering.

5. What foods can cause appendicitis?

Appendicitis has been implicated to the seeds of fruits and vegetables such as cocao, orange, melon, barley, oat, fig, grape, date, cumin, and nut.

6. Is appendectomy a major surgery?

An appendectomy is a major surgery, which is defined as any operation that involves the surgical procedure of removing the infected appendix.

7. What triggers appendicitis?

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes blocked, often by stool or cancer. Blockage can also result from infection, as the appendix can swell in response to an infection in the body.

8. What causes the appendix to burst?

Appendicitis is caused by an obstruction in the lining of the appendix, which leads to infection. The bacteria multiply quickly, inflaming, swelling, and filling the appendix with pus. This causes the appendix to burst.

9. What are the early warning signs of appendicitis?

Pain in the upper abdomen, usually near the belly button, is the first sign of appendicitis. Pain may begin as dull and then become intense as it progresses into the lower right abdomen.

10. What are the three stages of appendicitis?

The three stages of appendicitis are: normal appendix, uncomplicated acute appendicitis and complicated appendicitis.

11. Can kids have their appendix removed?

Yes, the procedure is equally common among kids and successful too.

12. Why is appendicitis considered a medical emergency?

Appendicitis is a medical emergency as the inflamed appendix can rupture and it can be life-threatening.