We don’t often think about our appendix, especially since it’s a non-vital organ. Because of this, when a problem arises, we’re often left scrambling for answers. We thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of frequently asked questions about appendix surgery so people would have a complete list of answers in one handy location. So read on to learn more about appendix surgery. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about appendix removal surgery.
Why would a person need the have their appendix removed?
Most people undergo an appendectomy because they are dealing with appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix. Should the inflammation cause your appendix to rupture, waste could seep into your body and cause an infection.
What causes appendicitis?
Appendicitis is caused by a blockage in your appendix, often by stool or a foreign body, but it can also be caused by cancer. A blockage can also occur if the appendix swells in response to an infection.
What are the symptoms of appendicitis?
The most common symptoms are abdominal pain, tenderness, fever, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhea
Is appendicitis preventable?
There is no evidence that suggests appendicitis is preventable, but the key is to get to a doctor early when symptoms set in to avoid a ruptured appendix.
How is appendicitis diagnosed?
There are a number of ways to diagnose appendicitis, including a physical exam, a urine test to rule out a urinary tract infection, rectal exams, blood tests, CT scans or an ultrasound.
How is an appendectomy performed?
A laparoscopic appendectomy is performed with the patient lying on their back. They are given anesthesia and are not awake for the procedure. The surgeon makes a few tiny incisions and guides a microscopic camera into the body in order to visualize the appendix. The surgeon then cuts away the appendix and removes it from the body, careful to not let any infection escape into the abdominal cavity. The incision sites are then sutured and the patient is transferred to a recovery ward.
What is the recovery time for an appendectomy?
Recovery times vary based on a variety of factors, including type of anesthesia used and which operative methods were used, but in general a person can return to normal activities within a few days, but a full recovery can take about 4-6 weeks.
What are the risks of an appendectomy?
The most common risks are wound infection, abscess formation in the area of the removed appendix or surgical incision site, injuries to other organs during surgery and peritonitis.
Are there any long-term consequences of living without an appendix?
The vast majority of people experience no consequences of having their appendix removed, although some people may experience an increased likelihood of bowel obstruction or an incisional hernia.
When can I go back to work after an appendectomy?
You can usually go back to work within a week if you had a laparoscopic procedure and you work a non-physical job, but if you had an open operation or you work a job with a lot of manual labor, you may be unable to return for 2-4 weeks.