Infection occurs when the opening of the appendix becomes clogged. This causes your appendix to become swollen and intensely painful. This is known as appendicitis.
The easiest and quickest way to treat appendicitis is to remove the appendix. Your appendix could burst if appendicitis is not treated immediately and effectively. This can cause the bacteria to spread into your abdomen and cause a serious infection (peritonitis).
Symptoms of appendicitis include:
• Abdominal pain that starts suddenly near the belly button on the right-hand side
• Abdominal swelling
First, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and perform a physical examination. During the exam, the doctor will gently push against your abdomen to pinpoint the source of your abdominal pain.
Your doctor may order blood tests and imaging tests if appendicitis is caught early. These could include CT scans or an abdominal X-ray. However, your doctor may skip these tests if he or she believes an emergency appendectomy is necessary.
Before surgery, you’ll be hooked up to an IV so you can receive fluids and medication. You’ll likely be put under general anesthesia so that you will be unconscious during surgery.
Several tests can be done to diagnose a Hiatal Hernia.
Your doctor may have you drink a liquid with barium in it before taking an X-ray. This X-ray provides a clear silhouette of your upper digestive tract. The image allows your doctor to see the location of your stomach. If it is protruding through your diaphragm, you have a hiatal hernia.
Your doctor may slide a thin tube in your throat and pass it down to your esophagus and stomach. Your doctor will be able to see if your stomach is pushing through your diaphragm. Any strangulation or obstruction will also be visible.
There are two types of appendectomy: open and laparoscopic. The kind of operation your doctor chooses depends on several factors, including the extent of the infection and your medical history.
During an open appendectomy, a surgeon makes one incision into the lower right portion of your abdomen. Your appendix is removed and the wound is closed.
Reasons your doctor may choose an open appendectomy include:
• Bleeding problems during the operation
• Extensive infection
• A history of prior abdominal surgery
• A perforated appendix
During a laparoscopic appendectomy, the surgeon accesses the appendix through several small incisions in your abdomen. The surgeon uses narrow, tube-like instruments to operate on the infected organ. A camera in one of the tubes allows the surgeon to see inside your abdomen to guide the instruments.
After the appendix is removed, the small incisions are cleaned, closed, and dressed. The risk of infection from laparoscopic appendectomy is lower than from open appendectomy because the incision wounds are smaller.
An appendectomy is a fairly simple and routine procedure.
Full recovery from an appendectomy takes about four to six weeks. During this time, your doctor will probably recommend that you limit your physical activity to allow your body to heal.
You may also be prescribed antibiotics after the surgery to lower your risk of infection.
The procedure requires one night stay in the hospital after the operation.