Appendectomy | General Surgery | Apex Hospitals


What is an Appendectomy?

    An appendectomy is a surgical procedure aimed at removing the appendix, typically situated in the lower right abdomen. This procedure is often performed urgently to address appendicitis, characterized by inflammation of the appendix. Appendicitis can arise due to blockage within the appendix. Another term for this surgical intervention is an appendicectomy.

What are the types of Appendectomy?

    There are two primary methods for removing the appendix: open appendectomy and laparoscopic appendectomy.

    1. Open appendectomy: This traditional approach involves making a 2 to 4-inch incision in the lower right-hand side of the abdomen. The appendix is then removed through this incision.

    2. Laparoscopic appendectomy: This minimally invasive technique involves making one to three minor cuts instead of a large incision. A long, thin laparoscope with a tiny camera and surgical tools is inserted through one of these incisions. The surgeon uses the camera to view the abdomen on a monitor and guides the tools to remove the appendix through one of the incisions.

    During a laparoscopic procedure, the surgeon may switch to an open appendectomy, if necessary, mainly if the appendix has burst and caused infection to spread.

    Although both types of surgery carry low risks of complications, a laparoscopic appendectomy typically results in less pain and scarring compared to an open appendectomy. Additionally, laparoscopic surgery patients often experience shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery times, and lower infection rates. In either case, the resulting scar is usually minimal and inconspicuous once fully healed.

Who might need to undergo an Appendectomy?

    If you exhibit symptoms of appendicitis, you may require an appendectomy, which involves the surgical removal of the appendix.

    Appendicitis is a medical emergency characterized by inflammation, swelling, and appendix infection.

    In cases of appendicitis, there is a significant risk that the appendix may rupture or burst, potentially leading to a severe and life-threatening infection known as peritonitis within the abdominal cavity.

    If you experience symptoms suggestive of appendicitis, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention to prevent complications and receive prompt treatment.

What happens during Appendectomy?

    You will be asked to remove any jewellery and change into a hospital gown to prepare for the procedure. Once in the operating room, you will lie on your back and receive general anaesthesia to induce deep sleep. A muscle relaxant will also be administered to prevent muscle spasms. To maintain a clear airway and monitor your breathing, a thin tube will be inserted through your mouth into your throat, and the anaesthesiologist will continuously monitor your vital signs throughout the surgery.

    1. Laparoscopic Appendectomy:

    During a laparoscopic appendectomy, your surgeon will make a small incision near your belly button. A tiny port will be inserted through this incision, followed by a cannula used to inflate the abdominal cavity with carbon dioxide gas. This inflation creates more space for the operation and enhances the visibility of the abdominal cavity and its contents in photographic images.

    Subsequently, the cannula will be removed, and a laparoscope—a long, thin tube equipped with a small light and a high-resolution camera—will be inserted through one to three additional tiny incisions. The camera's feed will be displayed on a video screen, allowing the surgeon to locate the appendix and guide the surgical instruments. In some cases, unexpected complications revealed by the laparoscope may necessitate converting the laparoscopic procedure to an open surgery to address them.

    2. Open Appendectomy:

    During an open appendectomy, your surgeon will make a larger incision in the lower right abdomen. The abdominal cavity will be opened, and the abdominal muscles separated to access the appendix below. If the appendix has ruptured, any abscess or fluid in the abdominal cavity will need to be drained before proceeding with the appendectomy. The abdominal cavity will then be rinsed with a saline solution.

    In both procedures, the appendix will be tied off with stitches, detached from the intestine, and removed. Any excess fluids and gas will be drained through the incisions. If peritonitis is present, a drainage tube may be left in the abdomen to continue draining fluids, which will be removed later. Following the procedure, the breathing tube will be removed, and the incisions will be closed with stitches, cleaned, and dressed. You will then be transferred to a recovery room until you regain consciousness.

What are the risks of Appendectomy?

    Potential complications associated with an appendectomy include:

  • Bleeding
  • Wound infection
  • Infection, inflammation, and swelling of the abdomen (peritonitis) if the appendix bursts during surgery
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Injury to neighbouring organs

    It's essential to communicate any specific concerns or risks with your healthcare provider before surgery.

Speak to our experts about Appendectomy.

    Are you considering an appendectomy or have questions about the procedure? Our expert medical team is here to help. From understanding the surgical process to discussing potential risks and recovery, we're available to provide guidance and support every step of the way. Don't hesitate to contact us for personalized assistance and peace of mind.


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