An appendicectomy (sometimes referred to as an appendectomy or an appendisectomy) is required when a person is suffering from acute appendicitis (where the appendix becomes inflamed) or for appendiceal tumours (adenocarcinoma, neuroendocrine tumour/ carcinoids, mucinous tumour of appendix).
Severe abdominal pain localising to the right lower abdomen, nausea, vomiting and fever over 24 to 48 hours, are the main symptoms of appendicitis. A diagnosis of appendicitis is usually made clinically if the patient has a typical clinical presentation. Otherwise, blood tests, ultrasound and/or CT scan of abdomen/pelvis are helpful in diagnosis.
A laparoscopic appendicectomy is usually performed with three small keyhole incisions. Gas (carbon dioxide) is slowly pumped into the abdominal cavity to separate the abdominal wall from the organs to allow easier examination and operation. The appendix is removed through one of the incisions. Open appendicectomy is occasionally performed if laparoscopic surgery is not feasible due to severity of the appendicitis.
In both techniques the blood vessels supplying the appendix are clamped and the appendix itself is removed. Ordinarily a stay of 1-2 days in hospital after the procedure is required.
Post-operative Care Information - For laparoscopic appendicectomy
After your initial laparoscopic operation, you will be able to eat and drink once fully awake from the anaesthetic. You will require regular pain relief in the first 48 hours, including regular Panadol and Endone as required.
The day after your procedure you will be reviewed by Mr Choi to discuss the results of the surgery. You will be examined and the drain will be removed if required. Patients are encouraged to mobilise from day 1 of their post-operative course.
Discharge from Hospital
Medications will be organised and dispensed prior to your discharge, as well as a post-operative appointment in Mr Choi's private rooms, usually 2 weeks after your procedure.
Dressings will be changed to waterproof dressings prior to your discharge. The dressings should be kept intact for at least 7 days post-operatively, after which you can remove them gently yourself. You can take showers and wash with the dressings on during this time. There are usually no sutures to be removed because the surgical wounds are closed with absorbable sutures.
Time off work/school
Most people will be away from work or school for 1 week after their operation.
You should not drive for the first week after your operation, especially if taking opioid pain relief such as Endone.
Light walking and light exercise can be resumed once you feel comfortable. Avoid heavy lifting (greater than 5 kilograms). Rigorous exercise such as weight training, yoga or sit ups should not be performed during the first 6 weeks post surgery. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to ask Mr Choi.
Increasing pain from your surgery after discharge from hospital
If you have any increasing significant pain after your discharge from hospital, or vomiting or high fever, you should seek immediate medical advice, either by contacting Mr Choi through his rooms or directly. Alternatively, you could see your general practitioner or attend the Emergency Department at Epworth Hospital. If you have any specific concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Choi's rooms during business hours on 03 9429 1002 or contact Mr Choi directly through Epworth Hospital on 03 9426 6666.