Appendix Removal

The appendix is a small, narrow organ in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen within the large intestine. The appendix produces a bacteria-destroying protein which helps fight against infection in the body, but its function is not essential. When the appendix becomes inflamed during appendicitis the organ is generally removed. The laparoscopic removal of the appendix in called an appendectomy.

Watch Dr. Siegal remove an appendix!

Appendicitis is indicated by sudden inflammation of the appendix, but the exact cause of this condition is usually unknown. Appendicitis may occur in patients after a viral infection in the digestive tract or when a stool blocks the opening of the appendix into the bowel. If untreated, a diseased appendix can burst, resulting in infection and even death. Though mild appendicitis may sometimes be treated with antibiotics, more severe cases typically require surgical intervention.

Common symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Sharp, localized abdominal pain
  • Increased abdominal pain during coughing
  • Fever, nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Minimally Invasive Appendix Removal

Appendix removal is often completed laparoscopically.

Laparoscopic appendectomy offers numerous benefits over traditional open removal:

  • Minimal scarring
  • Reduced hospital stay
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Faster return to normal activity
  • Fewer postoperative complications

Laparoscopic appendix removal is an option for non-ruptured appendicitis. Severe cases of appendicitis might not be eligible for these procedures. Patients who have had previous lower abdominal surgery or suffer from obesity may not be able to undergo laparoscopic surgical method for appendix removal. Your GI Surgical Specialists surgeon will evaluate your individual case before deciding which surgical method is appropriate for you.