The appendix is a small, pouch-like structure attached at the start of the large intestine. Although its purpose is not fully understood, it is believed to play a minor role in immunity. Appendicitis is a condition that occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed and swollen. It is one of the most common health problems that affects almost one out of every 2,000 people in the world during their lifetime. Appendectomy is usually performed as an emergency procedure to treat acute appendicitis. Treatment can be done through minimally invasive surgery.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of appendicitis can include fever, pain near the belly button, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and chills. If left untreated, appendicitis can be fatal.
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think you may have appendicitis. Treatment usually involves antibiotics and surgery. Surgery is usually needed within 24 hours to remove the appendix before it ruptures. One of the best ways to treat appendicitis is to opt for laparoscopic appendectomy.
In most laparoscopic appendectomies, surgeons operate through 3 small incisions (each 1 to 1inch) while watching an enlarged image of the patient’s internal organs on a television monitor.
The appendix is separated (mobilized) from adjacent organs and is ligated and divided. Later, the surgeon removes the infected appendix with the help of an endo bag via one of the 10mm incisions. All the holes are then closed with absorbable sutures.
Benefits of Laparoscopic Appendicectomy
- Smaller incision, each measuring 5-10mm instead of the seven to eight-inch cut done for open surgery.
- Less pain post-surgery.
- Quick recovery as compared to open surgery. Sometimes the patient can walk back home the same day.
- Results in restoring better bowel movement soon
Recovery from appendicitis typically takes several weeks. However, complications can occur in some cases, such as infection or abscess formation. With prompt treatment, the prognosis for appendicitis is generally good.