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Appendectomy

What is appendicitis?

What is appendectomy?

Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix. This procedure is most often performed as an emergency operation. In some patients undergoing abdominal surgery for another reason, may have their appendix removed prophylactically so that appendicitis does not develop in the future; this option can be discussed with your surgeon.

Appendicitis Picture - Inflammation of the Appendix
Appendicitis Picture - Inflammation of the Appendix

SLIDESHOW

Appendix Pain? Appendicitis, Surgery, and More See Slideshow

How do I prepare for an appendectomy?

The majority of appendectomy operations are typically emergency surgeries so the patient needs to follow the instructions given by the surgeon. In general, the patient is advised not to eat food, although with the symptoms, they are usually not hungry anyway. The patient may be treated with medications to reduce or eliminate nausea and vomiting; IV antibiotics may also be initiated before surgery.

How is an appendectomy performed?

Appendectomy is most often done in the operating room after the patient's skin has been shaved to remove hair and swabbed with a germ killing solution; sterility precautions are taken to prevent infection. The appendix may be removed by an open method or the laparoscopic technique. The open method requires a 2 to 3 inch incision in the lower right–hand side of the abdomen to remove the appendix, while the laparoscopic method uses several small incisions in the abdomen and the use of a laparoscope to visualize and then remove the appendix.

What is the recovery time for an appendectomy?

The recovery time for an appendectomy is variable and depends on the type of the procedure, type of anesthesia, and any complications that may have developed. For example, laparoscopic appendectomy may be done on an outpatient basis so that the patient can be discharged to recover at home, while an open method may require an overnight stay or an even longer time to be discharged to go home. Normal activities can resume in a few days but full recovery may take 4 to 6 weeks during which time strenuous activity should be avoided.

What are the complications and risks of appendectomy?

Are there long-term consequences of removing the appendix?

For most individuals there are no long-term consequences of removing the appendix. However, some individuals may have an increased risk of developing an incisional hernia, stump appendicitis (infections due to a retained portion of the appendix), and bowel obstruction.

QUESTION

On what side is your appendix located? See Answer

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References
Medscape. Open Appendectomy.

John Hopkins Medicine. Appendectomy.
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