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Appendicectomy

1. What is appendix?

Appendix is a long, narrow, tubular organ located in the lower abdomen on the right side just near the junction of small and large intestines.

2. What is appendicitis?

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix which is usually caused when its opening in the intestine is blocked by fecal matter or parasites.

3. What are the symptoms of appendicitis?

Initially, there is pain the central abdomen associated with nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Later on, the pain migrates to the right lower abdomen. There may be fever, diarrhea, urinary complaints, etc. in some cases.

4. How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis of a case of acute appendicitis is essentially made by a doctor based on his/her clinical experience. The tests which help to support the diagnosis are blood counts and USG abdomen. In some cases, a CT scan may be required but none of the investigations are 100% sensitive/specific.

5. What is the treatment of appendicitis?

The treatment of a suspected case of acute appendicitis is emergency appendectomy i.e. surgical removal of the appendix. It may be done by open or laparoscopic surgery.

6. What are the advantages of laparoscopic appendectomy?

The advantages of laparoscopic appendectomy are smaller incision, less pain, lesser blood loss and shorter hospital stay. The other benefit is that the entire abdominal cavity can be visualized and any other co-existing disease can also be treated at the same time.

7. How much time does operation take and what is the length of stay?

The operation takes around 30-45 minutes to perform and the length of stay for an uncomplicated case is around 2 days.

8. What kind of diet is advised after surgery?

The patient is usually kept nil per oral for 12-24 hours after the surgery. They can take liquid diet the next day and can have soft diet subsequently.