The appendix is a small narrow segment of the large intestine that is generally found in the lower right side of the abdomen. The appendix is prone to sudden infections. If this infection remains untreated, the appendix may burst, causing infection to spread throughout the abdomen. Once the appendix is infected, an emergency surgery (appendectomy) must be performed before a hole develops in the appendix (ruptured appendicitis). If surgery is not performed, ruptured appendicitis can spread the infection nearby (abscess) or throughout the abdomen (peritonitis).
What are the symptoms of appendicitis?
- Abdominal pain: Pain may begin around the belly button and then develop to sharp pain in the lower right side
- Fever and chills
- Nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite
If you have these symptoms, see a doctor immediately!
The laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgical technique involves making 3 tiny cuts in the abdomen and inserting a miniature camera and surgical instruments. The surgeon then removes the appendix with the instruments, so there is usually no need to make a large incision in the abdomen
At New Jersey Bariatric Center, most cases of acute appendicitis can be treated laparoscopically. The main advantages are:
- Less post-operative pain
- Faster recovery and return to normal activity
- Shorter hospital stay – most patients can be discharged within 24 hours
- Smaller incisions/scars