Laparoscopic Appendectomy

What is Laparoscopic Appendectomy and Why is it Needed?

It is imperative to classify the different variants that are entailed in surgery. The long difficult procedures have shifted to small, less invasive ones. Due to the advancement in science and technology, research and development; unique methods of surgery are being introduced. It makes a patient’s life easy and comfortable.

What is laparoscopy?

A laparoscopy is a diagnostic procedure used to observe the organs inside the abdomen. A laparoscope is a thin long tube that has a light and camera attached to look inside the abdominal organs. It is inserted through an incision in the abdominal wall whereby the camera captures and sends images to a video monitor for a better insight of the organ. Biopsy samples can also be attained during this procedure.

What is an appendectomy?

The surgical removal of the appendix is known as appendectomy. It is mostly carried out on an emergency basis due to the risk of other organs getting affected by the infection. An appendix, however, has no significant role to play in the body.

What is a laparoscopic appendectomy?

An appendectomy is the traditional procedure of the removal of the appendix where one large cut is made, whereas, a laparoscopic appendectomy takes place due to the same reasons prevailing as mentioned above with the only difference being the method of the surgery. It is a surgery that requires minimum intrusion, whereby the appendix is removed through several small incisions instead of one larger one.

Why is it needed?

An appendix is a small pouch located close to the large intestine. The chances of appendix being infected are due to the storage of bacteria, waste and other infectious material. Once infected, the appendix causes pain and in order to prevent rupture, the removal is necessary. This procedure is carried out to treat appendicitis and prevent complications in the abdominal cavity.

The scenario may vary for every patient. Apt and relevant diagnosis of appendicitis is crucial in order to prevent the appendix from rupturing. Some patients suffer acute pain which requires treatment on an urgent basis as the chances of the appendix to rupture are high or it might have burst already. The abdominal pain usually originates from the belly button region. It spreads to the lower right part of the abdomen. The main indication is the pain, however other symptoms include; loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, frequent painful urination and fever.

If the pain in an appendix is mild, the patients are treated with medication but it is always advisable to get the appendix removed in order to eradicate the risks of complications in the future. Consult your doctor as the situation may vary for every patient.

How is the surgery performed?

It is important to check the patient’s health history unless the surgery is not performed on an emergency basis, which usually is the case in this surgery. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia whereby the patient sleeps and feels no pain.

During laparoscopic surgery, an incision is made under the belly button. A cannula (small tube) is inserted to inflate it with carbon dioxide gas. This allows a better view of the abdominal organs for the doctor. Once, it is inflated a laparoscope is inserted and the camera displays the required pictures on the video monitor. Other instruments are used to identify and remove the appendix. It can be removed through one of the incisions and an antiseptic fluid is instilled to remove any infectious material. Normally, one to four incisions are made depending on the infection that is being treated. After the desired results are achieved, the instruments are removed; the carbon dioxide gas escapes and the incisions are closed with stitches.

What to expect after the surgery?

The risks incorporated with the surgery depend on the severity and intensity of appendicitis. It depends on whether the appendix was ruptured or not if the infection has spread already and has affected other organs. If it is a simple surgical removal without any infections, there is no need to worry about any risks entailed with the surgery. The good part about this particular organ is that it has no role to play in the functioning of the body; it just stores wasted material so there are no drastic changes required in a patient’s lifestyle. It requires minimum recovery time; some patients are even allowed to go home on the same day. However, if the infection has spread or the patient has some other health complications the recovery time might prolong.

As the surgery is performed under general anesthesia, it might take two or more days for a patient to not feel drowsy and get back to normal life. Sometimes it is difficult to perform a laparoscopic surgery due to other health conditions that a patient might possess, in such case, open appendectomy is recommended, hence the recovery time prolongs. 

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