Appendectomy

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

View the Appendicitis & Appendectomy Slideshow Pictures

Appendix Treatment

How is appendicitis treated?

Once a diagnosis of appendicitis is made, an appendectomy usually is performed. Antibiotics almost always are begun prior to surgery and as soon as appendicitis is suspected.

Quick GuideAppendicitis & Appendectomy Pictures Slideshow

Appendicitis & Appendectomy Pictures Slideshow

What is appendicitis?

  • Appendicitis is a condition in which the appendix becomes inflamed.
  • The appendix is a finger or worm-shaped pouch that projects out from the cecum (the beginning of the colon).
  • In most individuals, the appendix becomes inflamed because its tissues become infected with bacteria, and pus may develop within the lumen of the appendix. Mechanical blockage of the appendix by hard stool, a foreign body, or thick mucus may also lead to bacterial infections.
  • The signs and symptoms of appendicitis may include aching pain that begins around the umbilicus (belly button) and then shifts to the lower right abdomen. The pain may be sharp and can increase by movements such as walking or coughing. Many individuals may develop nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, constipation, inability to pass gas, and abdominal swelling. Individuals may also develop diarrhea.
  • A common sign of appendicitis is deep tenderness at the McBurney's point (the location of McBurney's point is about 2/3 the distance starting from the umbilicus to the right anterior superior iliac spine); however, young children and pregnant females may experience pain elsewhere in the abdomen.

What is appendectomy?

Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix. This procedure is most often performed as an emergency operation. In some patients undergoing abdominal surgery for another reason, may have their appendix removed prophylactically so that appendicitis does not develop in the future; this option can be discussed with your surgeon.

Appendicitis Picture - Inflammation of the Appendix
Appendicitis Picture - Inflammation of the Appendix

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/24/2016

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