Appendectomy

An appendectomy is surgery to remove the appendix.
Description

The appendix is a small, finger-shaped sac extending from the first part of the large intestine. It is removed when it becomes inflamed or infected. An infected appendix can leak and infect the entire abdominal area, which can be deadly.
An appendectomy is done under general anesthesia, which means you are asleep and do not feel any pain during the surgery. The surgeon makes a small cut in the lower right side of your belly area and removes the appendix.


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If the appendix ruptured or a pocket of infection (abscess) formed, your abdomen will be thoroughly washed out during surgery. A small tube may be left in the belly area to help drain out fluids or pus.

Indications

An emergency appendix removal will be needed if you have symptoms of sudden (acute) appendicitis. These symptoms include:


Abdominal pain (located in the lower right side)
Fever
Reduced appetite
Nausea and vomiting
If you have symptoms of appendicitis seek immediate emergency medical help. Untreated sudden (acute) appendicitis can be deadly. Do not use heating pads, enemas, laxatives, or other home treatments to try and relieve symptoms.

Your health care provider will examine your abdomen and rectum to check for a swollen appendix. Blood tests, including a white blood cell count (WBC), may be done to check for infection.

There is no actual test to confirm appendicitis. It is important to understand that the symptoms may be caused by other illnesses. The health care provider will diagnose the condition based on your symptoms, medical history, and the results of the physical exam and medical tests.

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