Removal of the Appendix

info sheet

The information here is a guide and reflects only the views of Dr Slater, Prof. Fawcett and Dr Hodgkinson.

WHERE IS THE APPENDIX AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

The appendix in is located in the lower part of the right side of the abdomen. It’s function remains a mystery, however it is apparent that humans can cope perfectly normally with out one. It very frequently becomes inflamed in people of all ages and its removal is one of the commonest operations performed.

WHAT DOES THE OPERATION INVOLVE?

The operation is usually done within 24 hours of the diagnosis of appendicitis having been made. Most commonly, the appendix is removed via keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery. This is done with three small cuts in the lower abdomen and a small telescope and long instruments are inserted. A tie is placed around the base of the appendix and it is removed. The operation takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on how inflamed it is.

Sometimes, the appendix cannot be removed by keyhole surgery and the surgeon will have to make an incision directly over the appendix to remove it. Common reasons for this are; burst appendix, bleeding that is difficult to control with keyhole surgery or if the appendix is in a difficult position and cannot be reached with the long instruments.
There is very little difference in the recovery time between the open and key- hole operations.

Occasionally the surgeon can find that something other than your appendix is causing your symptoms. The surgeon will then make a decision about what is best for your care. This may also require a larger incision.

Your surgeon will give you one or more doses of antibiotics depending on how inflamed your appendix is.

WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF APPENDIX OPERATIONS?

Complications after appendix operations are uncommon.

COSTS TO BE INCURRED FROM THIS SURGERY