What is it?
Appendicectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove the appendix from the abdomen, which can either be an open surgical procedure (traditional method) or via laparoscopic procedure (keyhole surgery).
The appendix is a tiny, finger-shaped pouch of the intestine that extends from the caecum that is the first part of the large intestine and is found in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.
A blockage within the lining of the appendix that results in infection is the likely cause of appendicitis. The bacteria multiply rapidly, inflicting the appendix to become inflamed, swollen and filled with pus. If not treated promptly, the appendix can rupture. When the appendix becomes inflamed, it’s painful and if it ruptures (perforated appendix), it will leak infected fluid into the abdomen that causes peritonitis, which may be fatal.
Some of the symptoms exhibited by a patient suffering from appendicitis are:
The doctor will conduct the following diagnostic tests to confirm appendicitis:
The surgeon will decide the type of medical procedure depending on the severity of appendicitis. The surgeon will decide on the procedure after discussing the options with the patient. The two main procedures are:
The laparoscope permits the surgeon to visualize the inside of the abdominal cavity on a TV screen. The abdominal cavity is inflated with CO2 gas to allow the surgeon to clearly see the area. The surgeon uses the laparoscope to find the appendix and the surgical instruments to remove it. The tiny incisions in the abdomen are closed using stitches or small paper tapes and are covered by sterile, waterproof dressings.
Antibiotics are usually given before and/or during surgery and can also be given after surgery. The antibiotics may be taken orally as liquid or tablets, or intravenously through a drip in the hand or arm (especially if the appendix has ruptured or peritonitis has developed).
The doctor might suggest the following measures to follow after the procedure:
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