Appendix is a three-and-a-half-inch tube of tissue that extends from the large intestine. Appendicitis is a condition where this appendix becomes inflamed and needs to be surgically removed.
If an inflamed appendix is left untreated, it can burst or perforate, and infectious material can spill into the abdominal cavity.
This can result in peritonitis, a condition where the abdominal cavity’s lining is inflamed, which can be fatal unless treated immediately.
How can appendicitis be treated?
The treatment for appendicitis involves surgery to remove it – known as an appendectomy. Before going in for an appendectomy, you will probably need to take antibiotics to prevent and fight peritonitis from happening.
An appendectomy requires giving general anesthesia to the patient. The doctor removes the appendix through open or laparoscopic appendectomy.
Types of Appendectomy :
Open Appendectomy is the more traditional way to remove an appendix. The surgeon makes a cut in the abdomen and locates the appendix to be removed. The appendix is severed from the large intestine and then removed from the body of the patient. The cut is then sewn up with stitches.
In laparoscopic Appendectomy, a small video camera known as a laparoscope is used by the surgeon to help see inside the body of the patient. The thin tube of the laparoscope enters the body through a small cut and the surgeon guides this tube to the appendix. Other small cuts are made, to allow medical instruments to get to the right area. The surgeon looks at the TV monitor during the entire procedure.
Normally, the patient is required to stay in the hospital for about two to three days after an appendectomy. If the appendix burst before it was removed, the stay might be a little longer.
Post-Surgery Recovery :
During recovery, there will not be any dietary restrictions. However, the incision will need to be taken care of. The area of the incision needs to be kept clean,and you should watch for any signs of infection. Contact your doctor immediately if you see any redness or swelling in the area of the incision, or if you feel pain or develop fever. You will need to refrain from any kind of physical activity for some time.
Depending on the type of surgery you had, your recovery time will vary. If you had an open appendectomy, you would be able to return to a normal routine after about two to four weeks. If you had a laparoscopic appendectomy, it would take one to three weeks to return to a normal life after the surgery.
Make sure that you get proper sleep after the surgery for quicker healing, and take extra care against infection of the incision by washing your hands before and after touching the area of the incision. Do not wear any tight or rough clothes that will chafe at the incision area and take sponge baths only till the stitches are removed.
Follow these instructions for a speedy recovery!