Appendectomy (Removal of Appendix)
The appendix is a small, finger-shaped organ that branches off from the first part of the large intestine. When it becomes swollen (inflamed) or infected, the condition is called appendicitis. When you have appendicitis, your appendix may need to be removed. An appendix that has a hole in it can leak and infect the entire abdomen area. This can be life threatening.
What to Expect:
Appendectomy is performed using either:
- Spinal anesthesia. Medicine is put into your back to make you numb below your waist. You will also get medicine to make you sleepy.
- General anesthesia. You will be asleep and not feel any pain during the surgery.
The surgeon makes a small cut in the lower right side of your belly area and removes the appendix.
The appendix can also be removed using small surgical cuts and a camera. This is called a laparoscopic appendectomy.
If the appendix broke open or a pocket of infection (abscess) formed, your abdomen will be washed out during surgery. A small tube may be left in the belly area to help drain out fluids or pus.