What is acute appendicitis?

Acute appendicitis is a sudden blockage and inflammation of the appendix usually by the normal contents of our stool. The blockage and swelling can cause significant pain and, in some instances, perforation of the appendix.

What is a laparoscopic appendectomy?

Laparoscopic means minimally invasive surgery using small incisions and long instruments to perform a procedure. A laparoscopic appendectomy is a minimally invasive approach to removing an appendix. Generally, 3 incisions are made to perform this. Occasionally, a traditional open approach is necessary.

How long does the surgery take?

The procedure can last between 20 minutes to over 1 hour depending on the degree of inflammation.

How long do I need to stay in the hospital?

For uncomplicated (nonperforated) appendicitis, most patients go home the same day of surgery. Patients with perforated appendicitis may stay between 2-5 days as we await their bowels to wake up and function after surgery.

What is recovery like?

You may shower the next day. The incisions are closed with dissolveable stitches underneath the skin and either skin glue that flakes off in 2-3 weeks OR miniature band aids that fall off in 2 weeks. We recommend not lifting greater than 20 pounds for 4 weeks to prevent developing a hernia. We recommend standard walking and daily activities even the day of surgery as tolerated. Most patients need 3-5 days to feel reasonably functional with varying degrees of ability to work.

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