Appendectomy: A Minimally Invasive Procedure For a Minimally Useful Part

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It can start as some vague pain in the upper part of your abdomen. But during a few hours, it can quickly become strong, persistent pain, and you’ll need to seek medical help.

Appendicitis is the inflammation or infection of your appendix, a tube-like organ that’s attached to the first portion of your large intestine.

In addition to the quickly escalating, strong abdominal pain, appendicitis can cause nausea and vomiting.

The strange thing about your appendix is that it has no definite known function.

The appendix may help repopulate the colon with normal bacteria after a severe infection, like cholera or typhus. But otherwise, doctors have not really found a good reason for an appendix.

Treating Appendicitis

In the U.S., appendicitis in almost always treated with a laparoscopic appendectomy to remove your appendix.

Doctors go in through two or three little incisions and remove the appendix off the colon. Most of the time this can be done as an outpatient procedure, so you can go home soon after the surgery. Some people will stay overnight and go home the following day.

A laparoscopic appendectomy is a minimally invasive surgery. It has been the well-established standard in appendicitis treatment for decades.

Most appendicitis patients make good candidates for this procedure.

In cases where your appendix is perforated with an abscess, your health care provider might do CT scan-guided drainage of the abscess, followed by antibiotic treatment. In this situation, you might still need your appendix removed a few months later.

Though there has been some recent news about non-invasive antibiotic treatment for appendicitis, this option excludes most patients. Even after patients try the antibiotic route, many still end up having surgery to remove their appendix within a year.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.