What is Appendectomy?
Appendectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the appendix, a small pouch that is attached to the large intestine. This procedure is usually performed when the appendix becomes inflamed or infected, a condition known as appendicitis. If left untreated, appendicitis can lead to a ruptured appendix, which can cause a serious infection in the abdomen.
Reasons for Appendectomy:
An appendectomy may be necessary for a variety of reasons, including:
- Appendicitis – when the appendix becomes inflamed or infected
- Perforated appendix – when the appendix has ruptured
- Abscess – when pus accumulates around the appendix
- Tumor – when a tumor grows in the appendix
Types of Appendectomy
There are two main types of appendectomy:
- Open appendectomy: In this procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in the lower right side of the abdomen and removes the appendix.
- Laparoscopic appendectomy: In this procedure, the surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen and inserts a laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera and light, to view the appendix and remove it using special surgical instruments. Laparoscopic appendectomy is usually preferred over open appendectomy because it involves less pain, fewer complications, and a faster recovery time.
Before undergoing an appendectomy, the patient will undergo several tests, including blood tests, urine tests, and imaging tests such as ultrasound or CT scan. The patient may also be asked to stop taking certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding during the surgery. The patient will need to fast for several hours before the surgery, and may be given medication to help them relax and reduce pain.
During an appendectomy, the patient will be given general anesthesia to make them unconscious and pain-free. If an open appendectomy is performed, the surgeon will make an incision in the lower right side of the abdomen and remove the appendix. If a laparoscopic appendectomy is performed, the surgeon will make several small incisions in the abdomen and use a laparoscope to view and remove the appendix. The surgery usually takes about an hour, after which the patient will be taken to a recovery room for several hours to be monitored for any complications.
After an appendectomy, the patient will need to stay in the hospital for a few days to recover. They will be given pain medication to manage any discomfort and will be gradually started on a liquid diet, followed by solid foods as tolerated. The patient will need to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activities for several weeks after the surgery, and will need to follow up with their surgeon for a post-operative checkup.
While appendectomy is generally a safe and effective procedure, there is a risk of complications, including:
- Damage to nearby organs
- Adverse reactions to anesthesia
- Bowel obstruction
Patients should contact surgeon immediately if they experience any signs of complications, such as fever, severe pain, or bleeding.