A thin pouch of the shape of a finger that arises from the colon is the appendix. The location is on the right side of the abdomen. Its key role is not yet well understood. It is assumed that it can enable the person to recover from small and large intestine diarrhea, inflammation, and infections. It has been found, however, that extracting the appendix would not affect the functioning of the body.
‘Appendicitis’ is the inflammation of the appendix. The appendix becomes inflamed due to infection. The bacteria can grow very speedily inside this organ and pus formation takes place. The infection causes pain around the belly button and this infection spreads to the lower part of the abdomen. The pain becomes severe while walking or coughing. Appendicitis causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you feel pain on the right side of the abdomen, you need to consult a doctor immediately. In case of delay in consultation or is not treated, the appendix can rupture and release the infection into the cavity of the abdomen. Sometimes, this can become life-threatening.
The gold standard treatment for appendicitis is known as appendectomy. Appendectomy means the surgical removal of the appendix. A very good outcome has been seen in patients who had undergone surgery before the appendix has ruptured.
Appendectomy can be performed either by open method or by laparoscopy.
In open appendectomy, a large incision is made below the belly button towards the right side. The appendix is cut and removed.
The removal of the appendix is carried out during laparoscopic appendectomy by making a few tiny incisions on the abdomen.
Under general anesthesia, a laparoscopic appendectomy is done. After you are under the influence of anesthesia, incisions are made near the belly button, and the abdomen is filled with gas. The camera is inserted and then a few more incisions are made for the surgical instruments.
Using laparoscopic instruments, the appendix is then removed and extracted from one of the incisions. A small plastic tube “drain” is placed for removing the fluid from the surgical site, to expedite the healing process. This drain is removed at a later time.
Even when laparoscopic appendectomy is being performed, the surgeon may decide to perform open appendectomy, if the appendix is more complicated.
After the surgery is completed, the incisions are closed with very small stitches. Nowadays, staples surgical tape, or glue are also being used for closing the incisions.
In comparison to open appendectomy, laparoscopic appendectomy carries many advantages, such as:
♦️ Lesser postoperative pain
♦️ Lesser blood loss and injury to the internal organs
♦️ Short hospital stay
♦️ Early recovery and getting back to work
♦️ Small incision and faster healing
In general, the complications related to laparoscopic appendectomy are very less. But, still complications can occur. Some of these include bleeding, the formation of blood clots, infection at the site of surgery, etc. A hernia can happen.
Generally, the complications from appendectomy are not major and are manageable.
The doctor will schedule a follow-up within 1 to 4 weeks of surgery. And 1 follow-up for checkup and removal of stitches.
Be sure to call your surgeon or family doctor if you have any of the problems below:
♦️ High-grade fever
♦️ Pain not tolerable in the abdomen
♦️ Having a feeling of nausea/vomiting
♦️ Blood oozing or pus coming out from the surgical incisions
♦️ Any other abnormal signs or symptoms