What is an appendectomy?
Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix. It is a common emergency surgery performed for the treatment of appendicitis, which is an inflammatory condition of the appendix.
The appendix is a small tubular pouch attached to your large intestine. This is located in the lower right part of your abdomen. The exact purpose of the appendix is unknown. However, it is believed to help us get rid of diarrhea, inflammation, and infections of the small and large intestine. These may seem like important functions, but the body can still function properly without attachment.
When the appendix becomes inflamed and inflamed, bacteria can multiply rapidly within the organ and cause pus to form. This formation of bacteria and pus causes pain around the belly button, which spreads to the lower right part of the abdomen. Walking or coughing can make pain worse. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
It is important to seek immediate treatment if you have symptoms of appendicitis. When the condition is not treated, the appendix ruptures (perforated appendix) and releases bacteria and other harmful substances into the abdominal cavity. It is fatal and can lead to prolonged hospitalization.
Appendectomy is the standard treatment for appendicitis. Before the appendix ruptures, it is essential to remove it immediately. After having an appendectomy, most people recover quickly and without complications.
Why is an appendectomy done?
An appendectomy is often performed to remove the appendix when the infection becomes inflamed and inflamed. This condition is called appendicitis. Infection can occur when the opening of the appendix becomes clogged with bacteria and faeces. This can cause your appendix to swell and swell.
The easiest and fastest way to treat appendicitis is to remove the appendix. Your appendix will explode if appendicitis is not treated immediately and effectively. If the appendix ruptures, bacteria and fecal cells from the organ can spread to your abdomen. It can lead to a serious infection called peritonitis. You can also develop a tumor if your appendix ruptures. Both are malignant conditions that require immediate surgery.
Symptoms of appendicitis:
- Abdominal pain starts suddenly near the belly button and spreads to the lower right part of the abdomen.
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Stiff abdominal muscles
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Lack of appetite
- Low fever
Although the pain of appendicitis usually occurs in the lower right part of the abdomen, pregnant women may have pain in the upper right part of the abdomen. This is because the appendix is high during pregnancy.
Risk factors for appendectomy
Appendectomy is a very simple and common procedure. However, there are some risks associated with surgery:
- Injury to nearby organs
- Clogged intestines
It is important to note that the risks of appendectomy are much lower than the risks associated with untreated appendicitis. An immediate appendectomy is needed to prevent the development of tumors and peritonitis.
How should I prepare for an appendectomy?
You should avoid eating and drinking for at least eight hours before an appendectomy. It is also important to inform your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. Your doctor will tell you how to use them before and after the procedure.
You should also inform your doctor:
- Pregnant or think you are pregnant
- Allergic or sensitive to certain toxins such as latex or anaesthesia.
- You have a history of bleeding disorders.
You should also arrange for a family member or friend to drive you home after this process. An appendectomy is often performed under general anaesthesia, which can make you drowsy and unable to drive for many hours after surgery.
After you are admitted to the hospital, your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam. During the test, your doctor will gently press on your abdomen to determine the source of your abdominal pain.
Doctor order blood tests and imaging tests if appendicitis is caught early. However, these tests may not be done if your doctor thinks an emergency appendectomy is necessary.
Before an appendectomy, you are connected to an IV, so you can receive fluids and medications. You will be given general anaesthesia, which means that you will fall asleep during the surgery. In some cases, you may be given local anaesthesia. Local anaesthesia numbs this area, so even if you are awake during surgery, you will not feel pain.
How is an appendectomy performed?
Here are two types of appendectomy: open and laparoscopic. The type of surgery your doctor chooses will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your appendicitis and your medical history.
During an open appendectomy, a surgeon will make an incision in the lower right part of your abdomen. The appendix is removed and the wound is closed with sutures. This procedure allows your doctor to clean your abdominal cavity if your appendix ruptures.
Your doctor may choose an open appendectomy if your appendix is ruptured and the infection has spread to other organs. This is a preferred option for people who have had abdominal surgery in the past.
When laparoscopic appendectomy, a surgeon can access the appendix through small incisions. Then a small, narrow tube called a cannula is inserted. The cannula is used to inflate your abdomen with carbon dioxide gas. It allows the surgeon to see your appendix.
The abdomen is inflated and a device called a laparoscope is inserted through the incision. The laparoscope is a long, thin tube with a high-intensity light and a high-resolution camera on the front. The camera displays images on the screen, allowing the surgeon to look inside your abdomen and guide the instruments. When the appendix is found, it is secured with stitches and removed. The small incisions are then cleaned, sealed, and worn.
Laparoscopic surgery is often the best option for older and overweight people. It has fewer risks than the open appendectomy procedure and generally has a shorter recovery time.
After the appendectomy procedure
When the appendectomy is complete, you will be observed for several hours before you are discharged from the hospital. Your vital signs, breathing, and heart rate will be closely monitored. The hospital staff will monitor anaesthesia or any adverse reaction to the procedure.
Your release time depends on:
- Your general physical condition
- Type of appendectomy
- Your body’s reaction to the surgery
If your appendicitis is not severe, you can go home the day after surgery. If you have general anaesthesia, a family member or friend should take you home. The effects of general anaesthesia usually take several hours, so it is not safe to drive after the procedure.
In the days after an appendectomy, you may experience mild pain at the incision site. Any discomfort should improve within a few days. Your doctor can prescribe medicine to reduce pain. They may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection after surgery. You can further reduce the risk of infection by keeping your incisions clean. You should also look for signs of infection, including:
- Redness and swelling around the incision.
- Fever over 101 F
- Lack of appetite
- Stomach cramps
- Diarrhea or constipation lasts more than two days.
Despite the small risk of infection, most people recover from appendicitis and appendectomy. It takes four to six weeks to fully recover from an appendectomy. During this time, your body will heal as your doctor recommends that you limit physical activity. You should attend your next appointment with your doctor within two to three weeks after your appendectomy.