This webpage will give you information about an appendicectomy. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.
What is appendicitis?
Appendicitis means inflammation of the appendix (see figure 1).
When the appendix is inflamed it causes pain and makes you feel unwell.
What are the benefits of surgery?
You will no longer get appendicitis. Surgery should prevent you from having serious complications that appendicitis can cause.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Antibiotics can be used to treat inflammation or an abscess, but only if you are well enough. If an abscess continues or if you become unwell even with antibiotics, you will need an operation.
What does the operation involve?
An appendicectomy is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes between half an hour and an hour.
Your surgeon will remove the appendix either by using the laparoscopic (keyhole) technique or by an open cut in the abdomen.
What complications can happen?
1 General complications
- Unsightly scarring
- Blood clots
- Infection in the surgical site (wound)
2 Specific complications
- Incorrect diagnosis
- Developing an abscess
- Difficulty passing urine
- Developing a leak
- Obstruction of the bowel
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home three to five days after an operation for simple appendicitis or about a week following a burst appendix.
You should be able to return to work after about four weeks, depending on the extent of surgery and your type of work.
Appendicitis is a common condition where the appendix becomes inflamed. Surgery should prevent you from having serious complications that appendicitis can cause.
Author: Mr Ayan Banerjea FRCS (Gen. Surg.) and Mr Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)
Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © 2011 Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com.
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.