Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix, typically performed to cure appendicitis. It is one of the most common emergency surgical procedures.

The appendix is a small, pouch-like cavity attached to your large intestine in the lower right part of your abdomen.

What is Appendicitis?

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
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Laparoscopic Appendectomy

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.