Overview of Procedure
An appendectomy is usually an urgent or emergency surgical procedure that requires removal of the vermiform appendix, which is part of the intestine. This procedure, also known as appendicectomy, often can be achieved using laparoscopic surgery, a minimally invasive method. Open surgery, however, is less resource-intensive and costs less. Some of the main reasons for opting for laparoscopic surgery are to minimize surgical scars or when the diagnosis is uncertain. This steadily improving procedure yields decreased pain, less complications and decreased hospital time.
Here are the essential steps involved with an appendectomy:
- Administer antibiotics
- Induce patient with general anaesthesia
- Examination and preparation of the abdomen
- Create an incision over a mass or McBurney’s point (on the right side of the abdomen)
- Opens layers of the abdominal wall
- Through the peritoneum, the appendix is located, removed and suture is applied
- Invert the stump of the appendix if required
- Close abdominal wall layers
- Staple or stitch skin to close wounds
- Dress the wound
- Deliver patient to recovery room
What is the Main Cause of Appendicitis?
The appendix is an extension from the colon on the lower right side of the abdomen. Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes infected and inflamed, causing pain in the navel and on the right side of the lower abdomen. This condition may happen to anyone, although it generally occurs between the ages of 10 and 30. A common cause of appendicitis is when an infection blocks the lining of the appendix, leading to inflammation. If left untreated, the pain may become very severe and the appendix can erupt, which can spread a fatal infection throughout the body.
How Long Do You Stay in the Hospital After an Appendectomy?
The length of hospital stay depends on the seriousness of the patient’s condition. For most appendectomies, the duration is 1-2 days following surgery with a recovery time of 2-4 weeks. If you have a ruptured appendix you may remain in the hospital longer.
What Does the Appendectomy Recovery Process Look Like?
Once you get home you will need to get plenty of rest and sleep to recover. But you will also need to get physical exercise, such as walking progressively more each day. Walking helps optimize blood flow while preventing complications such as pneumonia and constipation. For the first few weeks it’s important to avoid strenuous activities or lifting items such as grocery bags. Wait for your physician’s approval before attempting to lift weights or do aerobic exercise. By the third week you may be back to work unless you’ve had open surgery, which takes up to four weeks of recovery time.