Appendectomy

Monday, November 19, 2012

Appendectomies are one of the most commonly performed operations, with approximately 1 in 2,000 persons requiring an appendectomy during his or her lifetime. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this procedure in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix when an infection has made it inflamed and swollen. This infection, called appendicitis, is considered an emergency because it can be life threatening if untreated occasionally, an inflamed appendix bursts after a day or so of symptoms. Its very important to have it removed as soon as possible.

Open appendectomy requires a medium-sized incision in the lower right part of the abdomen. The appendix is removed through this incision after surgically separating it from the base of the colon. Open appendectomy usually requires general anesthesia but in some cases may be performed with spinal anesthesia.

Laparoscopic appendectomy is performed using a few small incisions and the assistance of cameras that allow the surgeon to see the appendix and the other internal organs. This technique is most often used for early appendicitis and has an overall shorter recovery time. If the appendix has ruptured or if there is scar tissue from previous operations, the laparoscopic approach may not be possible.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.