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Appendectomy

All about emergency appendecomy surgery

An appendectomy is the removal of the appendix. It may be performed by making a two to three inch incision in the lower right section of the abdominal wall, or it may be performed using a laparoscope and making four small incisions in the area.

What is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is a condition where the appendix is inflamed (swollen), or infected. It may become inflamed due to a buildup of mucus in the appendix, or due to stool entering the appendix. Symptoms of appendicitis include pain around the belly button. The pain may then become more severe, and move into the right lower abdomen. The patient may also suffer diarrhea and loss of appetite. Because these symptoms can be true of other disorders, a diagnosis of appendicitis is often hard to make. A CT scan or ultrasound, along with blood tests, can help make the proper diagnosis.

Treatments for Appendicitis

As soon as a diagnosis of appendicitis is made, antibiotics are given. In some cases, the antibiotics do the job of taking care of the inflammation and an appendectomy is not required.

If the appendix requires removal, an appendectomy is performed. If the appendix has not ruptured before the appendectomy, the patient can usually go home in one to two days. If the appendix has ruptured, an emergency appendectomy will be performed. In this case, fluids may have spread throughout the abdominal area. This must be drained, and makes the procedure more complicated. A hospital stay of four to seven days is usually required. Normal activities can be resumed within two to four weeks of leaving the hospital.

A laparoscopic appendectomy involves the surgeon making a few smaller incisions in the abdomen. A small telescopic camera is inserted, along with instruments, to remove the appendix. This technique takes longer than a traditional appendectomy, and can cost more because of the instruments used. Because of the small incisions that are made, the appendectomy scar can be hidden more easily in the pubic hair or in the navel. Either way the appendectomy is performed, the individual must monitor the scars for infection. Once the scars have healed there are several dermatological products available that can help reduce the appearance of the scars.

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