Appendicectomy : What to Expect


What is Appendicectomy?

This is a surgical procedure which can be done either openly or laparoscopically and used to treat the condition known as Appendicitis- inflamed appendix, which is pear shaped vestigial organ located in the right side of the lower abdomen.

This condition can occur due to an obstruction or blockage in the organ due to fecal matter, mucus, foreign bodies or pathogenic parasites. When these external substances get accumulated, they will cause irritation in the site leading to an inflammation where the appendix get inflamed.

Signs and Symptoms of Appendicitis

Symptoms of Appendicitis mainly include mild abdominal pain to a life threatening emergency especially in the case of a ruptured appendix which can result in generalized Peritonitis. Also, most of the symptoms may vary from one person to another, making it difficult to make an exact diagnosis at a glance. But, being a condition which is diagnosed clinically there are some important signs and symptoms to be noted carefully to prevent a danger to life.

As far as the main presenting complaints of Appendicitis is concerned, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and disturbed bowel habits are known to be prominent.

Most of the affected patients will have a gradual onset of dull, achy or cramping like pain all over the abdomen, which then becomes localized around the umbilicus (belly button) and gradually radiates to the right lower abdomen resulting in a sharp localized pain in the area (migratory pain). With time, the pain will worsen and sharp, making the patient restless. However, in some people the appendix can be located behind the colon which will then cause a lower back pain or pelvic pain instead of the typical pain and its site.

Patients with Appendicitis will also complain of a mild temperature between 99°F-100.5°F which may or may not be associated with chills.

What to expect in Laparoscopy Appendix Surgery?

This can either be done as an under general anesthesia which involves several tiny incisions or one large incision respectively. Laparoscopic scars will not be visible due to their small size and open surgery scar will fade away with time.

Laparoscopic appendectomy surgery will not take more than one hour and patient will be able to go home once the vital signs become normal which will take 1-2 days.

After the surgery, it is quite common to have an abdominal discomfort or pain especially if you go through an open surgery whereas the pain will be minimal pain when it comes to laparoscopy. Some people might also get a bloated abdomen, diarrhea or constipation following the surgery which will disappear within a few days.

Safety measures

It is important to know that your body will completely be normal without the appendix so it is not necessary to make considerable changes in the diet.

However, adequate resting, avoidance of weight lifting and strenuous exercises for few weeks are highly encouraged. Laparoscopic surgery for appendicitis is so far the most preferred therapeutic management for inflamed appendix, due to its minimal invasive nature.

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