An appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix, usually performed as an emergency procedure when a person is suffering from acute or serious appendicitis. The procedure includes removal of the appendix by making an incision in the abdominal wall and cutting the appendix free of the colon.
What is Appendicitis?
By contrast, a laparoscopic appendectomy removes the appendix with minimally invasive surgery. The surgeon makes a small puncture wound, then inserts a thin telescope with a video camera to inspect the inside of the abdomen. If appendicitis is found, the appendix can be removed with special instruments that can also be passed into the abdomen through small puncture wounds.
The benefits of this procedure include less post-operative pain and complications, minimally sized incisions or scars, and a speedier recovery. Patients can usually return home within one or two days if their appendix wasn’t ruptured at the time of surgery. By contrast, the hospital stay for a traditional, open appendectomy is typically two to five days.
The laparoscopic procedure also allows the surgeon to look inside the abdomen to make a clear diagnosis. Appendicitis can be difficult to diagnose, as it mimics a number of other inflammatory conditions. A laparoscopic appendectomy is especially helpful for menstruating women in whom a ruptured ovarian cyst could be mistaken for appendicitis.
It is thought that appendicitis is caused when the opening of the appendix into the bowel becomes blocked by a build-up of mucus or stool, or by swollen lymphatic tissue. The appendix becomes inflamed, which can lead to infection, a blood clot, or rupture. After rupture, infection can spread throughout the abdomen, but is more likely to form an abscess around the appendix.
Not everyone will be a good candidate for a laparoscopic appendectomy. People with cardiac diseases and pre-existing disease conditions, obese and elderly patients, and those who have had previous lower abdominal surgery would not be suitable for this procedure.
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Our surgeons have the skill and expertise to perform your laparoscopic appendectomy.
You can trust your appendectomy to the skilled, board-certified surgeons at Alabama Surgical Associates (ASA) in Huntsville, AL. For more information about your appendectomy, please click here to contact our office or call us at (256)-880-1977.