Appendicitis & Appendectomy

The appendix is a small, worm-like appendage attached to the colon.
Appendicitis occurs when bacteria invade and infect the wall of the appendix.
Appendicitis is a common condition that affects 6% of the population.
The most common complications of appendicitis are perforation, abscess, and peritonitis.
A less common complication of appendicitis is blockage of the intestine.
The main symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain.
The diagnosis of appendicitis begins with a thorough history and physical examination.
Treatment usually consists of appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix).
Step 1 of 8: The appendix is located in the lower abdomen.
Step 2 of 8: The mesentery (the tissue that suspends the appendix and carries blood vessels to the appendix) is divided from the appendix.
Step 3 of 8: Scissors are used to free the appendix from its mesenteric attachment to the abdomen and colon.
Step 4 of 8: The base of the appendix is tied off using a pre-tied suture.
Step 5 of 8: The suture is now tightened using a fisherman's knot, which cannot loosen on its own.
Step 6 of 8: The suture is cut using scissors.
Step 7 of 8: The appendix is cut free and ready to be removed.
Step 8 of 8: The operation is complete and inspected.
An example of an infected appendix that has been removed and the resulting incisional scar from an appendectomy.

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Reviewed by John A. Daller, MD on Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Appendix Pain? Appendicitis, Surgery, and More

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