Appendicitis treatment usually involves surgery to remove the inflamed appendix. Other treatments may be necessary depending on your situation.
Surgery to remove the appendix (appendectomy)
Appendectomy can be performed as open surgery using one abdominal incision that's about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) long. Or appendicitis surgery can be done as a laparoscopic operation, which involves a few small abdominal incisions. During a laparoscopic appendectomy, the surgeon inserts special surgical tools and a video camera into your abdomen to remove your appendix.
In general, laparoscopic surgery allows you to recover faster and heal with less scarring. But laparoscopic surgery isn't appropriate for everyone. If your appendix has ruptured and infection has spread beyond the appendix or if an abscess is present, you may require an open appendectomy. An open appendectomy allows your surgeon to clean the abdominal cavity.
Expect to spend one or two days in the hospital after your appendectomy.
Draining an abscess before appendix surgery
If your appendix has burst and an abscess has formed around it, the abscess may be drained by placing a tube through your skin and into the abscess. Appendectomy can be performed several weeks later after the infection is under control.
Aug. 13, 2011
- Ben-David K, et al. Appendicitis. In: Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed June 23, 2011.
- Appendicitis, acute. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed June 23, 2011.
- Appendicitis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/appendicitis/. Accessed June 23, 2011.
- Appendectomy. American College of Surgeons. http://www.facs.org/public_info/operation/brochures/app.pdf. Accessed June 23, 2011.