What is an Appendicectomy and Who Needs It?
An appendicectomy (also known as an appendectomy) is a healthcare procedure in which an infected or injured appendix is removed. The appendix is a pouch-like organ in the bowel that is roughly the size of a ring finger. It has no practical function, but if it becomes injured or swollen, it can lead to appendicitis which usually manifests as severe pain and extensive swelling. Unless the appendix is removed immediately, it may burst in the stomach, causing serious infection and further health problems. Since the appendix has no use, physicians prefer removing the appendix with surgery when they are in doubt. The process of removing the appendix by surgery is known as an appendicectomy.
Symptoms Necessitating an Appendectomy
The symptoms of appendicitis include nausea, vomiting, constipation, and pain. The pain starts in the center of the abdomen and moves to the right lower abdomen. Some of the possible causes of appendicitis include the blockage of a foreign body, a faecalith, or a small hard mass of faeces in the appendix.
An Appendicectomy Procedure
An appendicectomy involves certain risks which the patient should discuss with his healthcare team before deciding on the operation. The appendix can be removed either by the keyhole method or open method. The keyhole method requires making three holes that are less than an inch in size. Each of these incisions is made in the lower stomach. The appendix is removed through one of these holes. Afterwards, the holes are then stitched. Alternatively, the open method is adopted when the appendix is too big to be removed through these holes. It is important for the patient to be able to pass urine within 6-12 hours of the operation. If urination is too painful or simply not possible, the patient should notify his or her healthcare provider immediately. Full recovery will take several months, but in most cases, patients can leave the hospital after a week.