What is Laparoscopic Appendix Removal Surgery (Laparoscopic appendectomy)?

What is the appendix?

The appendix is a tube-like organ which is a few centimeters long. It is attached to the beginning of your large intestine, or colon. This is usually below and to the right of your belly button. If the appendix needs to be removed, you can live without your appendix and not develop any long term issues.

What is appendectomy?

This is a type of surgery to remove the appendix. Removal of the appendix cures appendicitis. If appendicitis is untreated, it may rupture or burst open and cause very serious illness.
Appendectomy is a common surgery and many people have had their appendix removed. One way to remove the appendix is by making one larger cut, or incision, below and to the right of your belly button. This is referred to as an open appendectomy.
Laparoscopic appendectomy removes the appendix using small incisions.

How is a Laparoscopic Appendectomy Performed?

You will have general anesthesia for your laparoscopic appendectomy. This means that you are asleep during surgery. When surgery is finished, your incisions are closed with tiny stitches or staples.

Once you are asleep, an incision is made near your belly button and inserts a small device called a port. The port creates an opening that fills the abdomen with gas. This creates space to do the operation. Next, a small camera is inserted through the port. The camera shows the surgery on a screen in the operating room. Finally, your appendix is disconnected and taken out through one of the incisions. Most operations need 3 incisions, but this can vary from 1 to 4, based on various circumstances.

Advantages of laparoscopic appendectomy

The most common advantages of laparoscopic surgery are:

  • Less pain after surgery
  • A shorter time in the hospital
  • Getting back to normal activity faster
  • Having normal bowel movements sooner
  • A smaller scar

What Happens if I cannot have my Appendix removed Laparoscopically?

Some people cannot have laparoscopic appendix removal. You might have open surgery with one large incision if:

  • Your appendix is very inflamed or there is an abscess (a large area of bacteria buildup).
  • Your appendix has perforated (burst).
  • You have severe obesity
  • You have scar tissue in your abdomen from earlier surgery
  • The doctor cannot see your organs
  • You have bleeding problems during surgery

It is not a complication (problem) if we decide to switch to open surgery. It is switched if open surgery is the safest option for you. Usually, it is unknown until after the laparoscopy starts. We use our best judgment about the safest surgery for you.

What to Expect After Surgery

What Should I Expect after Appendectomy? Going home

You may go home the day you have your surgery, or you might stay in the hospital overnight. You need to be able to drink liquids before you go home. If the appendix had already perforated (burst), you may be in the hospital for a longer period of time.

Will I be in pain?

You will feel some pain after surgery. Pain at the incision sites and in your abdomen is common. You might also have pain in your shoulders which should go away in 24 to 48 hours.

When to Call Your Doctor After Laparoscopic Appendectomy

Be sure to call your surgeon or family doctor if you have any of the problems below.

  • Fever over 101 degrees F (38.5 C)
  • Severe pain or swelling in the belly
  • Feeling sick to your stomach or throwing up (nausea or vomiting)
  • Blood or pus coming from any of the small cuts in the surgery area
  • Pain that your medicines do not help
  • Breathing problems or a cough that does not get

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