You may have heard or seen people suffering from acute abdominal pain all of a sudden. After examination, they may be wheeled into the operation theater to be operated for appendicitis. This is a medical emergency that occurs due to inflammation of the appendix. It is very important to treat appendicitis immediately, or it may lead to peritonitis and shock. This is the main cause of the high mortality rate due to appendicitis. The treatment usually involves surgical removal of the organ. The surgery to remove this organ is called appendectomy. People who are asked to undergo an appendectomy, want to know more about the recovery period. The following paragraphs will discuss the recovery time after appendix removal.
The appendix is a small, pouch-like organ that looks like a finger. It projects outward from the colon and present on the right hand side of the abdomen. The location is near the junction of the small intestine and large intestine. It is thought to be a vestigial organ and said to have some role in the immune system of the body.
Symptoms of Appendicitis
When the appendix is inflamed, it leads to painful symptoms indicating need for immediate medical help. The symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, and fever-like symptoms. The patient may feel a pain near the navel that extends down towards the lower abdominal side of the body. The pain begins to intensify within 12 to 24 hours, and if left untreated, it may lead to perforation on the organ. If this happens, the fluid within the organ will begin to leak into the abdominal area leading to peritonitis, which may prove to be a life-threatening situation. Therefore, if one experiences the symptoms of appendicitis, they should seek immediate medical help to avoid complications.
Procedure for Appendectomy
- This is a very simple procedure, although it is mostly carried out as an emergency.
- During the procedure, the doctor will first administer antibiotics to the patient if there are signs of sepsis.
- The patient is then put under general anesthesia and made to sleep in supine position.
- The abdomen is prepared and draped. An incision is made and the abdominal wall is opened.
- The surgeon enters the peritoneum and the appendix is located.
- Then, it is mobilized and divided from the base.
- Once removed, each layer of the abdominal walls are closed and the skin is closed using stitches or staples.
- After the wound dressing is complete, the patient is wheeled into the recovery room.
The recovery period depends on patient to patient. From the above paragraph, you must have understood it is a rather simple surgery. However, if the organ ruptures or is perforated, it may lead to complications. Generally, the patient recovers in about 4 to 6 weeks. A few patients who have an overall good general health may recover in just a few days. Nowadays, laparoscopic surgery has reduced the number of complications, and reduced the recovery period to a great extent.
The prognosis is rather good. It has been found the recovery after surgery depends on the patient's age, complications during surgery, conditions, and other factors, like alcohol consumption. A person is said to recover in about 10 to 28 days at the most. Children may take about 3 weeks to recover and become active again.
This is one of the most straightforward medical procedures. Though no surgical procedure is free from risk, appendectomy is one procedure that is routinely performed without major complications arising post surgery.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.