An appendicectomy, is a surgery to remove the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch that is located on the lower right hand side of the abdomen and is attached to the large intestine. It often varies in length, width and position. It is thought to have served a purpose in the digestive process at some point in our ancestral past, but its present functionality is not completely known.
We do not need our appendix as it performs no obvious day-to-day functions within the body. Present thinking now postulates that the appendix serves some sort of function in maintaining a healthy balance of gut-bacteria in the large intestine but this is just speculation at present. What is known is that a human can undergo an appendix removal without it impacting their health. The incidence of appendicitis is 1.1 cases per 1000 people per year.
Symptoms of appendicitis include vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, central abdominal pain moving to the right lower abdomen and fever. The inflammation causes the lower right hand area of the abdomen to swell and become rigid. This inflammation is considerably painful and can make ordinary tasks like walking, simple movements or even coughing extremely painful. If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms you should head to your GP or the Emergency department of your nearest hospital. Conditions such as this are indicative of the need for an appendicectomy as soon as possible. Appendix surgery to remove an inflamed appendix is necessary since it can be fatal if the appendix bursts within the abdominal cavity causing peritonitis and sepsis.
An appendicectomy is the standard treatment for appendicitis as it is critical to remove the appendix before it perforates since this can lead to significant health complications – even death.
Appendix removal surgery is a relatively simple procedure involving a general anaesthesia. There are two surgical methods that your surgeon may opt to employ depending on your circumstances. Generally, a laparoscopic (key-hole) appendicectomy is the preferred type of surgery but an open appendicectomy through an incision made in the lower right hand side of the stomach is sometimes required if the appendix cannot be removed laparoscopically.