All You Need to Know About Appendectomy

If your appendix is inflamed or has burst, your specialist may recommend appendectomy – surgery to remove the appendix. An appendectomy Lenox Hill is often an emergency surgery since an inflamed appendix can lead to life-threatening complications. It is the primary treatment for an inflamed appendix, a medical emergency known as appendicitis. The appendix is a small, thin pouch attached to your large intestines, and its exact purpose is unknown, meaning its removal does not affect your body’s functioning.

When would I need an appendectomy?

As mentioned above, appendectomy is the primary treatment for appendicitis – an infection that occurs when the opening of the appendix gets clogged with bacteria and stool. The result is swelling and inflammation of the appendix. Without prompt treatment, the appendix could burst, causing the bacteria to spread into your bloodstream, causing sepsis, a life-threatening response to infection. A ruptured appendix can also cause an abscess and abdominal inflammation.

How safe is an appendectomy?

Appendectomy is a surgical procedure associated with several health risks like any other operation. However, the risks associated with untreated appendicitis are more severe than those associated with appendectomy. An appendectomy’s possible complications include blood clots, internal bleeding, infection, hernia, and injury to nearby organs, including the intestines and bladder. The risk of complications also depends on the type of surgery your provider performs. For example, laparoscopic surgery has a shorter recovery time and lower infection rates.

What happens during an appendectomy?

The procedure details depend on the type of appendectomy your surgeon performs. Open appendectomy is the standard method, but today, there is a newer, less invasive method called a laparoscopic appendectomy. For open appendectomy, the surgeon makes a two to four inches long incision in the lower right-hand side of your abdomen and takes out the appendix through the incision.

Laparoscopic appendectomy is less invasive as it requires no large incisions. Instead, the surgeon makes one to three tiny cuts and inserts a laparoscope into one of the incisions. A laparoscope is a long, thin tube with a small video camera that helps the surgeon see inside your abdomen and guide surgical tools. The surgeon then removes the appendix through one of the incisions.

During a laparoscopic appendectomy, your specialist may decide that you need open surgery, especially if your appendix has burst and the infection has spread. A laparoscopic appendectomy causes less scarring and pain compared to an open appendectomy. But for either type of surgery, the scar is hardly visible once it has healed.

What to expect after surgery

Once the surgery is complete, you will spend some time in the recovery room, where your healthcare team will monitor your vital signs, including breathing and heart rate. The time you spend in the recovery room depends on the type of surgery you had and the anesthesia you received. You will be taken to your hospital room once your pulse, blood pressure, and breathing are stable. If you had a laparoscopic appendectomy, you might be discharged and sent home on the same day of your procedure.

For further questions about appendectomy, consult your provider at Lenox Hill Surgeons, LLP.