What do you need to know about Appendectomy?

08/08/2022

In the lower right corner of the abdomen, there lies a vestigial organ called the appendix. When the appendix becomes infected this condition is known as acute appendicitis. In this situation, it is necessary to remove the infected appendix. An appendectomy operation is performed in such conditions where the infected appendix is removed and is typically a necessary emergency procedure.

Types of Appendix Operation

Appendectomy is of two types:

  1. Open Appendectomy

  2. An incision of 2-4inches is made in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen and the appendix is removed under general anaesthesia.

    Benefits of procedure:

    • In case of burst or spread of infection open appendectomy is preferred

    Disadvantages of procedure:

    • Higher negative appendectomy rate
    • A longer recovery period leads to a prolonged hospital stay
    • Greater chances of wound infection & post-operative complications
    • Open appendectomy leads to scar formation & cosmetic disfigurement
  3. Laparoscopic Appendectomy

  4. Benefits of procedure:

    • Quick Recovery & Shorter duration of hospital stay
    • Fewer chances of wound infection
    • Fewer post-operative complications
    • The minimally invasive procedure leads to less/no post-operative
    • scar formation

    Disadvantages of procedure:

    • Comparatively costlier than open appendix operation
    • Requires greater expertise and advanced equipment
    • Cannot be performed in case of a burst appendix or when the infection has spread

When is an appendectomy required?

Symptoms for appendectomy

  • Appendicitis Pain around the umbilicus & shifting to the right lower abdomen which aggravates on walking, jumping or coughing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever with chills
  • Malaise

Signs for appendectomy

  • High-grade fever
  • Right lower abdomen becomes tender
  • Muscle guarding & rebound tenderness

Appendix Treatment

Most people require surgical intervention called as appendectomy for acute appendicitis treatment for both ruptured or non-ruptured cases appendix removal needs to be done, mild cases of appendicitis may recover by intravenous antibiotics but still the patient needs to take regular follow up with the doctor as in such cases anytime appendix operation may be required.

Appendicitis in children

Appendicitis in kids is usually common amongst children between 5-20 years of age & rarely occurs in children less than 1 year of age, symptoms and treatment is same as in adults for acute appendicitis in children

Appendix Operation: What you should know about it?

Before the procedure

Evaluation of patient by the doctor

  • History taking & Clinical examination of the patient in reference to signs & symptoms and past medical condition
  • Blood and radiological investigations like abdominal USG or CECT Abdomen are done to reduce the rate of negative appendectomy
  • Consent for surgery needs to be signed by the patient
  • Pre anaesthetic check-up is done by the anaesthesiologist
  • No food or water intake for a minimum of 8 hours before the appendix operation
  • Injectable Antibiotics are given to reduce the risk of infection

During Appendix Operation

Appendectomy is usually an emergency procedure, based on the condition of the patient, the doctor will decide whether to perform an open or laparoscopic appendix operation.

  • Part preparation is done which includes cleaning of operation site with an antiseptic agent and draping is done
  • IV Cannula is inserted
  • Anaesthetic drug is given (General Anaesthesia)
  • An endotracheal tube is inserted
  • Vitals are monitored by the anaesthesiologist

Open Appendectomy

  • 2-4 inches incision is made over the skin of right lower abdominal wall and appendix is visualised
  • The appendix is tied with stitches and removed
  • The operated site is closed in layers with the help of stitches and after placing a drainage tube, antiseptic dressing is done

Laparoscopic Appendectomy

  • 0.5-1 inch incisions are made for the insertion of the laparoscope
  • Carbon dioxide is filled in the abdominal cavity for better visualization of the appendix as well as other organs
  • The appendix is tied off with stitches and removed through the incision
  • All the laparoscopic tools are removed, and a drainage tube is put followed by an antiseptic dressing

After the operation, the appendix is sent to the lab for pathological examination

Risks associated with an appendix operation

  • Wound infection
  • Pus formation inside the abdomen
  • Pneumonia
  • Venous thromboembolism
  • Anal fistula formation
  • Adhesive intestinal obstruction

Appendix Operation Cost

Open appendectomy operation with length of stay 2 days would cost approximately Rs.1, 20,000 – 2, 30,000 depending upon the room category and other extra amenities

Laparoscopic appendectomy operation with length of stay 2 would cost approximately Rs.1, 60,000-Rs.3, 00,000 depending upon room category and other extra amenities

Appendectomy - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is appendectomy a major surgery?

Not always. With laparoscopic appendix operation, the chances of complications and length of hospital stay have been reduced since it is a minimally invasive procedure.

Is appendix operation safe?

Although both types of appendix operations have fewer chances of complications, laparoscopic appendicectomy has a speedy recovery, short duration of hospital stay and lesser infection rates.

How long does appendectomy surgery take?

On average, it takes 1 hour to perform an appendix operation

How long is the duration of a hospital stay after an appendix operation?

Laparoscopic appendectomy is a day care surgery and the patient can be discharged within 24-36 hours however in complicated/ acute appendicitis (burst appendix, pelvic abscess) the hospital stay may exceed up to 5-10 days

What is the main cause of appendicitis?

Although the main cause is still unknown, less dietary fibre intake and increased consumption of refined carbohydrates are considered to be the most common causes of appendicitis

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