What is a appendectomy?

An appendectomy is a procedure in which the appendix is surgically removed. The procedure is typically recommended as treatment of appendicitis, a condition that causes inflammation in the appendix.

Why is it performed?

In most cases, the procedure is performed as an emergency surgery when the appendix has become infected and inflamed, causing uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

How does it work?

An appendectomy can be performed with two surgical approaches:

Open appendectomy

During this type of procedure, an incision is made in the abdomen followed by exploration and removal of the appendix. If the appendix has burst, the abdominal cavity will be cleaned and washed out before closing the incision with stitches.

Laparoscopic appendectomy

During this type of procedure, a few tiny incisions are made in the abdomen, through which a small camera is inserted. The belly is then inflated and the infected appendix is identified and removed with use of laparoscopic instruments placed through an additional 2 ports. One can also wash out the abdomen prior to closure of the wounds.

Laparoscopic surgery usually allows for a shorter hospital stay compared to open surgery as well as less pain and post-operative surgical site infection.