The appendix is a tiny, finger-shaped organ that sticks out of the large intestine, or colon. While it has no known function, sometimes it becomes inflamed or infected - called "appendicitis." That can cause:
- Pain in the abdomen (often starting around your belly button and moving to the lower right)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Inability to pass gas
- Low fever
Not everyone with appendicitis has all these symptoms.
An appendix that breaks open can leak infection into the body. That can be life threatening, so often the best way to treat appendicitis is with an "appendectomy," a surgery to remove the appendix.
Some patients can have a laparoscopic appendectomy, a minimally invasive surgery. But it may not be right for everyone, including those whose appendix is severely infected or has broken open. Following a traditional or open appendectomy, most patients can go home 1 to 2 days after surgery and return to normal activities in 2 to 4 weeks. Following a laparoscopic procedure, hospital stay and recovery may be even shorter.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include less pain, a faster recovery and better cosmetic results. Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) and Hidden Scar Laparoscopy/Micro Laparoscopy (Micro) options are also available, offering smaller and often hidden incisions as well as fewer visible scars and reduced post-operative pain.
The experts at North Carolina Surgery are trained in the newest techniques to treat your appendicitis and relieve your pain. Using the most up-to-date technology, your treatment will be safe, convenient and tailored to your specific needs. Rest assured that we'll have you back to your normal activities as quickly as possible.
For more information on appendicitis and appendectomy, see the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.