Laparoscopic Appendectomy (Appendix Surgery)

Surgical Associates of Marshall County offer laparoscopic appendectomy for the minimally invasive removal of the appendix in Albertville and Guntersville.

Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix, a small, worm-shaped organ located at the top of the large intestine. When the appendix becomes inflamed, infected or otherwise damaged it can cause serious gastrointestinal discomfort, and in some situations may begin to leak and infect the surrounding abdominal area, a potentially fatal condition. The inflammation and perforation of the appendix is known as appendicitis.

Appendectomy is the usual treatment for appendicitis. At Surgical Associates of Marshall County, we offer appendectomy using laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Common symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Mild to severe pain surrounding the belly button or right lower abdomen
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low-grade fever

The appendix is a vestigial structure, meaning that it does not serve any necessary function in the human body. For this reason, there are no health consequences associated with its removal.

Laparoscopic Appendectomy

During laparoscopic appendectomy, your general surgeon will remove the appendix through a small incision in your abdomen. You will be under a general  anesthesia during the course of the procedure.

The laparoscopic appendectomy procedure is completed through a series of three minor holes in the abdominal wall. The appendix is reached using a specialized tool called a laparoscope. This is a long, flexible tube equipped with a camera, light and other surgical instruments. The laparoscope permits your surgeon to complete the operation with fewer risks and greater accuracy than a traditional, open operation would, while the laparoscope projects an image of the treated area on a screen in the operating room.

If the appendix has ruptured, then the abdomen will be washed during the procedure and a small tube may be left in place to encourage proper draining.

Side Effects and Risks with Appendectomy

The laparoscopic surgical technique reduces many of the risks formerly associated with appendix removal. Side effects and risks are rare but may include bleeding, infection or a build-up of pus in the abdomen. These complications are more common if the appendix has ruptured prior to surgery.

Many people are able to leave the hospital one to two days following laparoscopic appendectomy procedure. A ruptured appendix often entails a longer hospital stay. Your general surgeon will tell you when you have healed enough to return to normal physical activities.

To find out more about the laparoscopic appendectomy or any of the laparoscopic procedures at Surgical Associates of Marshall County, please call 256-840-5547 (Albertville) or 256-571-8734 (Guntersville) or complete our online contact form.