Type of Surgery

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Last updated: 11/24/2009

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Appendectomies are usually carried out on an emergency basis to treat appendicitis. There are no alternatives, due to the serious consequence of not removing the inflamed appendix, which is a ruptured appendix and peritonitis, a life-threatening emergency.




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This video contains actual footage of an appendectomy. The procedure is being performed laparoscopically and shows what the surgeon sees through the small camera inserted into the body. This video may be difficult for some viewers since it shows surgery on actual human tissue.

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To remove a diseased appendix, an incision is made in the patient's lower abdomen (A). Layers of muscle and tissue are cut, and large intestine, or colon, is visualized (B). The appendix is located (C), tied, and removed (D). The muscle and tissue layers are stitched (E). (Illustration by GGS Inc.) To remove a diseased appendix, an incision is made in the patient's lower abdomen (A). Layers of muscle and tissue are cut, and large intestine, or colon, is visualized (B). The appendix is located (C), tied, and removed (D). The muscle and tissue layers are stitched (E). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)




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Other Information

An appendicectomy (or appendectomy) is the surgical removal of the vermiform appendix. This procedure is normally performed as an emergency procedure, when the patient is suffering from acute appendicitis. In the absence of surgical facilities, intravenous antibiotics are used to delay or avoid the onset of sepsis; it is now recognized that many cases will resolve when treated non-operatively. In some cases the appendicitis resolves completely; more often, an inflammatory mass forms around the appendix. This is a relative contraindication to surgery.

Appendicectomy may be performed laparoscopically (this is called minimally invasive surgery) or as an open operation. Laparoscopy is often used if the diagnosis is in doubt, or if it is desirable to hide the scars in the umbilicus or in the pubic hair line. Recovery may be a little quicker with laparoscopic surgery; the procedure is more expensive and resource-intensive than open surgery and generally takes a little longer, with the (low in most patients) additional risks associated with pneumoperitoneum (inflating the abdomen with gas). Advanced pelvic sepsis occasionally requires a lower midline laparotomy.


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appendicectomy

Other Information

Biliary colic is the presenting symptom in 80% of patients with gallstone disease who seek medical care; however, only 10-20% of all individuals with gallstones experience severe gallstone pain.


From: eMedicine

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