Appendectomy – An Emergency Surgical Procedure To Remove The Appendix From The Abdomen!

Approximately 7 percent of the American people are suffering from appendicitis in their lifetime.

It can occur at any age between 3 and 25 and is more commonly seen in males than women, however, the exact reason is still not known.

The surgical procedure for appendicitis is appendectomy.

Appendectomy is a common emergency procedure in the United States.

In non-perforated appendicitis, no deaths have been reported with this procedure; however, this is considered to be dangerous in perforated cases.

Diagnosing Appendicitis is Difficult In Early Stages!

Appendicitis is a more common disease. The appendix is a worm like hollow organ that measures about 2-3 inches in adults.

The function of appendix is not known although there are many theories that explain the purpose of appendix; however, it is known that appendix secretes mucus. When the appendix tube is blocked by something, the mucus backs up and causes the appendix to swell behind the blockage.

With this swelling, the patient experiences moderate cramping pain around the belly button and after that the patient starts to experience burning pain with nausea and vomiting. As the swelling worsens, the blood supply to the swelling area stops and the wall of appendix is weakened.

After two to twenty hours blood supply cut off, the patient will experience localized right lower quadrant pain. If the swelling continues, the appendix ruptures and causes fecal contamination in the abdomen. Since the abdominal pain of appendicitis is similar to other abdominal pain, it is difficult to identify whether it is appendicitis or not.

Once the diagnosis is made for appendicitis by physical examination, laboratory studies, and CT scan of the abdomen, the appendix will be removed, which is also called as appendectomy. Appendectomy is still considered to be an emergency procedure.

Types Of Appendectomy Procedures

The two major types of appendectomy procedures are traditional open surgery and laparoscopic appendectomy.

In laparoscopic appendectomy, some small incisions are made into the abdomen and a thin tube (laparoscope) is inserted into one of the incisions through cannula (hollow instrument). With the help of camera and light attached to the laparoscope, a magnified view of the interior of the abdomen is made.

The surgeon views this on the monitor and the instrument will be inserted via other incisions to remove the appendix.

In traditional open surgery, a small incision is made in the patient’s lower right abdomen and then the appendix is removed with surgical instruments. This technique is used when the appendix ruptures.

This open surgery will be performed when there is extensive abscess or infection, when the patient has a history of prior abdominal surgery with resultant dense scar tissue, when there is inability to see the internal organs with the help of laparoscope, and when there are bleeding problems developed during laparoscopic procedure.

The risks with appendectomy are similar to those with other surgeries such as bleeding, infection, risks of anesthesia, etc. It usually takes several weeks to recover from appendectomy; however, the exact time depends on the type of procedure performed.

If you experience severe abdominal pain or cramping, seek medical attention immediately. Depending on the diagnosis, the surgeon will determine if it is appendicitis or other abdominal pain and if the appendectomy is warranted.