Appendectomy

Appendectomy

An 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 prevent the onset of sepsis; it is now recognized that many cases will resolve when treated perioperatively. In some cases the appendicitis resolves completely; more often, an inflammatory mass forms around the appendix, and may be associated with an adjacent pus collection (abscess). This is a relative contraindication to surgery.

Appendectomy 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. Especially in females when other problems may exist, laparoscopy offers a definitive visual diagnostic and treatment tool. Recovery is quicker with laparoscopic surgery.