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What is Appendectomy?

Appendectomy or appendix removal surgery is the procedure to remove an inflamed or infected appendix. This procedure is usually recommended in cases of acute appendicitis where the condition advances rapidly. In cases of acute appendicitis, there is a higher risk of the appendix bursting on its own. If the appendix bursts, the infection may spread to the entire body, which can be fatal. Thus, timely treatment is critical in the case of acute appendicitis. In chronic appendicitis, surgical treatment is elective as the pain is not severe, and the chances of other complications are also minimal. 

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Best Doctors For Appendicitis

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Best Treatment Center for Appendix Surgery

Best Treatment Center for Appendix Surgery

We provide laparoscopic treatment for appendicitis, which is the safest and minimally invasive technique. The surgery is performed at our partnered hospitals in India that have modern infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities. Pristyn Care also has its own clinics across the country where the doctors provide consultations to the patients. 

We have a dedicated team of general and laparoscopic surgeons who are well trained. Our doctors have 10+ years of experience in treating appendicitis through both open and laparoscopic techniques. You can book a free consultation with our experts and get advanced treatment for appendicitis cost-effectively. 

What happens if appendicitis is left untreated?

What happens if appendicitis is left untreated?

If appendicitis is left untreated, infected bacteria that are stored inside the appendix cause inflammation and cut off blood supply, leading to the development of a hole or tear in the dead wall. As pressure builds up due to the blockage, it results in the bursting of the appendix. This can cause the bacteria and pus to flow into the abdominal cavity that holds the liver, stomach, and intestines. This is considered a medical emergency as it can lead to severe and life-threatening complications.

Types of Appendix Surgery

Types of Appendix Surgery

Open Appendectomy

This is one of the surgical procedures carried out in order to remove an appendix where the surgeon makes a single, large cut/incision of about 5-10 centimeters in the lower-right abdominal area. The appendix is completely removed, and the wound is closed using stitches. 

Laparoscopic Appendectomy

This is considered an advanced procedure compared to the conventional method of appendix removal surgery. In this method, the surgeon makes two or three tiny incisions in your abdomen rather than a single large cut and inserts a laparoscope – a thin tube with a camera and light attached to it, which allows them to view the inside of your abdomen. The appendix is tied and closed using sutures or surgical tape and covered with a dressing.

What happens in Appendicitis Treatment?

What happens in Appendicitis Treatment?

Diagnosis 

If you are suffering from any of the signs and symptoms of an inflamed appendix or appendicitis and visit a doctor, the doctor will carry out a diagnosis in the following ways:

  • The doctor will review your symptoms and go through your medical history to rule out the possibility of other health problems.
  • You might be asked to pinpoint the area where you feel the pain. Based on that, the doctor might physically check for tenderness, possible percussions, and rebound pain. 
  • Depending upon your conditions, the doctor might recommend you to go through a blood test and urinalysis, which will eliminate the possibility of other complications.

Based on the analysis made by the doctor and the readings of the above-mentioned medical evaluations, you might be required to go through imagery tests such as x-ray, CT-scan, MRI scans, and ultrasound.

Procedure 

  • You will be put under the influence of general anesthesia, which will help in easing the pain and discomfort during the surgery.
  • Small incisions will be made around your abdominal area, through which the doctor will remove your appendix.
  • The surgeon will inflate the areas of your abdomen using harmless CO2 gas by inserting a cannula in order to have a distinctive view of the appendix. 
  • Through one of the incisions, a medical device called a laparoscope (a thin lighted tube attached to a camera) will be inserted, which would allow the doctor to see your internal structures and guide the instruments. 
  • Once your appendix has been spotted, the surgeon will use surgical instruments to separate it from the intestine and close the ends with staples.
  • After your appendix is removed, the laparoscope and other surgical instruments will be removed.
  • The incisions will then be closed with sutures, followed by skin glue or skin closure tapes.

The surgeon might switch to an open appendectomy in case your appendix cannot be removed laparoscopically, which might happen due to the following reasons:

  • Extensive infection or abscess
  • Perforated appendix
  • Obesity
  • Dense scar tissue from previous surgery
  • Bleeding problems during the operation
  • Difficulty in viewing the organs using a laparoscope

How to prepare for an appendectomy?

How to prepare for an appendectomy?

  • Almost like every other surgical procedure, you will have to refrain from consuming anything for at least 8 hours before the surgery. An empty stomach would make it easier for the doctor to have a clear view inside your abdominal cavity, ensuring a safe and effective treatment.
  • It is important to consult your doctor if you are going through any medications, and the doctor can accordingly assist you in how the medicines should be taken before and after the surgery.
  • You will have to avoid taking certain drugs like aspirin, blood-thinners, vitamin E, and arthritis medicines prior to a week before the surgery.
  • If you have a history of bleeding disorders or are allergic to anesthesia, it would be a wise decision to let your doctor know about it before going for surgery.
  • Upon reaching the hospital, you might be required to go through certain medical evaluations like blood tests, chest x-rays, and other tests in order to eliminate any potential complications during the surgery.
  • If you plan on taking a shower, you should make sure that you take it before going for the surgery, as doctors recommend keeping the surgical area dry after the operation, which helps to avoid infections and other complications in the wounded area after the surgery.

What to expect after an appendectomy?

What to expect after an appendectomy?

After the appendix operation, you can expect slight pain, discomfort, and disorientation until the effects of anesthesia completely wear off. 

 Once the anesthesia wears off and your blood pressure, breathing, and pulse rate are stable, you will be moved to the recovery room. Depending upon your overall physical condition and the procedure of the treatment, you will be prepared for a discharge from the hospital.

You will be advised to keep the surgical area dry and clean for the next few days to avoid possible infections in the wound.

During the first few days after undergoing an appendectomy, you may feel moderate pain in the areas surrounding your abdomen, and the doctor will accordingly prescribe antibiotics to deal with the pain and prevent any further infections.

Benefits of Laparoscopic Appendectomy

Benefits of Laparoscopic Appendectomy

Patients and doctors prefer laparoscopic appendix removal surgery because it has the following advantages over open surgery- 

  • Instead of 1 large incision, the laparoscopic technique involves making 1 to 3 keyhole-sized incisions that are comparatively smaller. Thus, the damage inflicted on the skin tissues becomes significantly less. 
  • As the size of the incisions is small, there are fewer chances of bleeding or infection during and after the surgery. 
  • Again due to the small size of the incision, the post-op pain is minimal. 
  • The patient recovers quickly as the tiny incisions will heal faster than a large incision. 
  • With laparoscopic appendectomy, the patient gets discharged from the hospital on the same day. 
  • There will be fewer restrictions on physical activities after having a laparoscopic appendectomy. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Appendicitis

What is the quickest way to get rid of appendicitis?

The quickest way to get rid of appendicitis is to get surgical treatment. Through surgery, the appendix will be removed entirely, which will resolve the problem. The surgery will take around 30 to 45 minutes only. 

Is it possible to treat appendicitis without surgery?

Yes, in some cases, appendicitis can be treated using antibiotic medicines. The medicines will address the inflammation and treat the infection. However, there is no guarantee that the medicines will be effective in preventing the condition from advancing further. As a result, appendix removal surgery will be needed. 

How long do you have to stay in the hospital after appendix removal?

Generally, with laparoscopic treatment, you won’t have to stay in the hospital. You will be discharged on the same day. However, if necessary, the doctor may ask you to stay in the hospital for 1 or 2 days, depending on the condition.

Is appendix surgery painful?

No, appendix surgery is not painful at all as it is carried out using general anesthesia. The patient is asleep and doesn’t have any sensations on the surgical site. 

When can I walk after the appendix surgery?

You can walk on the same day after the appendix surgery. As the incisions are small, there are no major restrictions on physical activities after the procedure. Walking around will improve blood circulation throughout the body, and it will pace up the healing process.

How do I poop after an appendectomy?

You will most likely not have any bowel movements in the first 3 days after surgery. The doctor will prescribe laxatives or stool softeners to ensure that the stools are soft and can be passed without any hassle. 

Is appendix removal surgery covered under health insurance?

Yes, appendix removal surgery is covered by health insurance as it is a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening complications. Thus, most insurance providers offer ample coverage for appendicitis treatment. You only need to file a claim and submit the necessary proof to pay the treatment cost using insurance. 

What is the Cost of Appendix Removal Surgery in India?

The cost of Appendix Removal surgery in India usually starts from Rs. 40,000 and can go up to Rs. 70,000.

Other Options for Appendicitis Treatment

Other Options for Appendicitis Treatment

The only alternative to appendicitis treatment is antibiotic medications. However, this alternative only works in the case of chronic appendicitis when the condition recurs frequently. In chronic appendicitis, the condition doesn’t advance to a stage where the surgery will be needed. It can be managed by medications alone. 

What are the different grades of appendicitis?

Grade I

Early Appendicitis

In this stage, you are likely to feel the pain near your navel, and it might feel like a cramp, and you probably would not be able to pinpoint the affected area. This is usually the first sign of a possible inflammation in your appendix, and you might also go through other symptoms like loss of appetite, followed by nausea and vomiting.

Grade II

Suppurative appendicitis

This is the stage where the bacteria and inflammatory fluids accumulated in the lumen of the appendix enter the muscular wall of the appendix and subsequently cause intense pain when the inflamed membrane rubs against the parietal peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity. You will experience a shift of pain from the belly button area to the lower right abdominal area in this stage.

Grade III

Gangrenous appendicitis

At this stage, the blockage of the appendix leads to inflammation and increased pressure, preventing blood flow into the organ. Such a condition is considered a medical emergency. If the patient does not receive proper treatment on time, it can result in the breaking or tearing of the appendix, which can have severe complications.

Grade IV

Perforated/Ruptured appendicitis

Sometimes the infection of an appendix can result in the formation of a hole that allows the infection to spread to the other parts of the abdomen. During such cases, the stool that is stored inside the appendix leaks out into the abdomen, which then results in an inflammatory reaction by our body, creating abscesses. Due to the inflammation, the bowel gets easily crumbled, making it difficult for surgical removal. These intra-abdominal abscesses can cause prolonged fever and pain and can result in a slow recovery.

Grade V

Phlegmonous appendicitis or abscess

An inflamed or perforated appendix can sometimes be separated by the adjacent greater omentum (a double-layer of fatty tissue that covers and supports the organs and intestines in the lower abdomen) or by a complete blockage of the small intestine, resulting in phlegmonous appendicitis or abscess, leading to a swollen, reddened, thickened and compacted appendix.

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