Laparoscopic Surgery is performed for the operations of the abdomen with 6 to 12-inch-long cuts. That’s why it’s sometimes called keyhole surgery. This process has a laparoscope, a lean slender shaped tool with tiny video camera and light on the tip. With the few centimetres long small incisions, the surgeon inserts different instruments and performs the surgery while visualizing it on a video screen.
Appendectomy is a way of surgical removal of the appendix. It is a common surgery that is performed to treat appendicitis. Appendicitis is an inflammatory condition of the appendix; it is a medical emergency that requires surgery to remove the appendix. An appendix is a 3.5 inches long tube of tissues extends from large intestine on the lower side of the body. It can strike at any age, but it is rare in children younger than 2 years. Mostly it affects people between the ages of 10 to 35 years.
Appendicitis occurs when the appendix gets blocked by hard stools, tumors, etc. This blockage may also appear from any kind of infection due to which appendix can swell in response.
The classic symptoms of appendicitis are as follows –
- Pain in the lower abdomen, commonly on the right side
- Pain is sometimes sudden and severe
- History of constipation
- Recent episodes of diarrhoea
- Nausea and vomiting appear soon after belly pain
- Fever 99 to 102 Fahrenheit
Diagnosis of appendicitis can be tricky as sometimes symptoms are not clear or similar to other illnesses including gallbladder problems, bladder, and urinary tract infection, gastritis, Crohn’s disease, kidney stones, ovary problems, and intestinal infection. Some test can help diagnose appendicitis:
- Clinical examination – Very important
- Ultrasound – Not always reliable
- CT Scan – Confirmatory in almost all cases
- A blood test showing increased white cell counts
- Abdominal examination for inflammation
- Urine test to check urinary tract infection
Precautions after Laparoscopic Appendectomy:
A few weeks required for recovery after laparoscopic appendectomy or if the appendix gets burst.
- Avoid strenuous activity at first: If appendectomy was done by laparoscopic, then the patient must limit his activities for three to five days. If it is an open appendectomy, then activities must be limited for 10 to 14 days. A patient must ask his/her doctor about limitations of activity and resume normal activities after surgery.
- Support Abdomen: A pillow can be placed over the abdomen and apply pressure before cough, laugh, or move to help reduce pain.
- Call the doctor if pain medication is not helping: If pain puts extra stress on the patient’s body, that slows the healing process. If a patient is still in pain despite pain medications, then go to the doctor immediately.
- Get your activities to start slowly: The patient should start his activities slowly and increase gradually. Start with short walks.
- Take time: Wait two to four weeks to resume strenuous activities such as a gym or sports.
- The doctor may prescribe medications to help control pain after appendectomy.
The appendix can cause some serious issues. Such as:
- A rupture Appendix: A ruptured appendix can spread infection in the abdomen. This condition is known as peritonitis. This condition is life-threatening and requires immediate surgery to remove the damaged appendix and clean the abdominal cavity. There is always a risk of mortality associated with appendicular rupture.
- Appendicular lump or Abscess: It is also a dangerous condition as it can lead to a serious spread of infection in the body. This condition requires urgent admission, medications, IV fluids, and may need image-guided drainage of an abscess. Surgery to remove the appendix is performed 6 to 8 weeks after the resolution of this condition. Sometimes open or laparoscopic drainage of an abscess may be required.
Dr. Pranay Gourav, Consultant – General Surgery, Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Barasat