What is the appendix?
The appendix is a tube-like organ which is a few centimetres 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.
You probably know that the appendix can become inflamed. If the appendix needs to be removed, you can live without your appendix and not develop any long-term issues.
What is Laparoscopic Appendix Removal Surgery(Laparoscopic appendicectomy)?
What is appendicectomy?
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 or even death.
Appendicectomy 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 appendicectomy.
Laparoscopic appendicectomy removes the appendix using small incisions and will be described below.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
- The pain may be mild at first, but it becomes sharp and severe.
- The pain often moves into your right lower abdomen and becomes more focused in this area.
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Fever (usually not very high)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Reduced appetite
- Blood tests, including a white blood cell count (WBC), may be done to check for infection.
- When the diagnosis is not clear, our surgeon may order a CT scan or ultrasound to make sure the appendix is the cause of the problem.
How is a Laparoscopic Appendicectomy Performed?
You will have general anaesthesia for your laparoscopic appendicectomy. This means that you are asleep during surgery. When surgery is finished, the surgeon closes your incisions with tiny stitches, staples, surgical tape or glue.
Once you are asleep, the surgeon makes an incision near your belly button and inserts a small device called a port. The port creates an opening that your surgeon can use to fill 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. Once the surgeon can see clearly, they put in more ports to insert long, narrow instruments.
Finally, they gently disconnect your appendix and take it out through one of the incisions. Most operations need 3 incisions, but this can vary from 1 (one) to 4, based on various circumstances.
At times there might be necessary to put in a small plastic tube called a “drain” during surgery. This lets fluid drain from the surgery area while you are healing, so it does not build up and cause problems. It will be taken out a day later (THIS IS NEEDED IN CASE YOUR APPENDIX IS BURST OPEN).
Advantages of laparoscopic appendicectomy
The results may vary depending upon the type of surgery and your general health. But 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
Is laparoscopic appendicectomy right for you?
Ask Our surgeon if a laparoscopic appendicectomy is the best option for you. In certain situations, you might need surgery with one larger incision (Open Surgery).
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 you are one of these people. Some reasons for having or switching to open surgery are:
- Your appendix is very inflamed or there is an abscess (a large area of bacteria build-up).
- Your appendix has perforated (burst).
- You have severe obesity – this means being extremely
- You have scar tissue in your abdomen from earlier surgery or
- The doctor cannot see your organs
- You have bleeding problems during
It is not a complication (problem) if our surgeon decides to switch to open surgery. They will switch if open surgery is the safest option for you. Our surgeon might not know this until after the laparoscopy starts. They will use their best judgment about the safest surgery for you.
What are the Possible Complications of Laparoscopic Appendicectomy?
Complications of laparoscopic appendicectomy do not happen often. They can include bleeding, infection in the surgery area, hernias, blood clots, and heart problems. A hernia is a hole that allows a small amount of your gut (intestine) or other tissue to bulge through the muscles that cover it.
You should also know that any surgery has the risk of hurting other body parts. This is not likely, but it is possible. Appendix surgery could hurt nearby areas such as the bladder, large intestine (colon), or small intestine. You might need another surgery if this happens.
There is a small risk of an abscess (collection of pus/bacteria) following surgery if the inflammation of the appendix is severe at the time of surgery. This may require further treatment.
Most complications from appendicectomy are rare, which means they almost never happen. If you are concerned about any possible complications, ask our surgeon.
What to Expect After Surgery:
What Should I Expect after Appendicectomy?
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. This is from the carbon dioxide put into your abdomen during the operation. The shoulder pain should go away in 24 to 48 hours.
Our surgeon might prescribe a medicine to help you with pain. Many people recover from surgery with medications for 2 or 3 days. Few may need for a week. If you have questions about the pain after surgery, ask our team.
Will there be nausea or vomiting after surgery?
You might feel sick to your stomach (nauseated) or throw up (vomit) after your surgery. Having surgery and anaesthesia can make this happen. You should feel better in a day or two.
You should be as active as your body allows. Our surgeon recommends walking. You can go up and down stairs on the day of your surgery. The next day, you may take your bandages off, if you have them, and take a shower. You can expect to feel a little better each day after going home. If not, please call our team.
You can probably go back to normal activity about a week after laparoscopic appendicectomy.
If you do a physical job with heavy lifting, ask your doctor when you can go back to work. You can drive 24 hours after you have had anaesthesia if you are not taking narcotic pain medicines and not in pain.
If you had an open surgery with a large incision, you may need more time to recover. Our surgeon will advise you when you may return to normal activities. You will probably recover more slowly in other ways, too. Our surgeon can tell you what to expect.
When to see our surgeon after surgery?
You need to see our surgeon 1 week after surgery.
This information is not intended to take the place of your discussion with our surgeon. If you have any questions about the problem, surgery or subsequent follow-up, please discuss them with our surgeon before or after the examination.
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