The appendix is a three to six-inch long pouch-like structure in the lower right area of the abdomen. It is attached to your intestines. The function of the appendix is not entirely clear. It contains lymphoid tissue and may help the body fight infection. Other organs take over the infection-fighting work of the appendix after it is removed.
Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes infected or inflamed. When the appendix becomes inflamed and swollen, bacteria can quickly multiply inside the organ and lead to the formation of pus. This buildup of bacteria and pus can cause pain around the belly button that spreads to the lower right section of the abdomen. Walking or coughing can make the pain worse. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
It’s important to seek treatment right away if you’re having symptoms of appendicitis. When the condition goes untreated, the appendix can burst and release bacteria and other harmful substances into the abdominal cavity. This can be life-threatening.
Appendectomy is the standard treatment for appendicitis. An appendectomy is a surgery to remove the appendix. Once an appendectomy is performed, most people recover quickly and without complications.
There are two types of appendectomy:
- A surgeon makes one incision in the lower right side of your abdomen.
- Your appendix is removed, and the wound is closed with stiches.
- This procedure allows your doctor to clean the abdominal cavity if your appendix has burst.
- A surgeon accesses the appendix through a few small incisions in your abdomen.
- The laparoscope is a long, thin tube with a high-intensity light and a high-resolution camera at the front.
- The appendix is tied off with stiches and removed.
- This is usually the best option for older adults and people who are overweight.
The type of surgery your doctor chooses depends on several factors, including the severity of your appendicitis and your medical history.
If you are in the Las Vegas area and need a surgeon, contact Dr. Heidi Ryan. Her specialties include bariatric surgery, LINX surgery for GERD, and appendectomy.