To start you off, an appendectomy is a procedure to remove the appendix. if it is inflamed or if it ruptures. The appendix is a small, almost cylindrical organ that is attached to the large intestines. When the appendix becomes inflamed, it has to be removed immediately and this is usually done using either an open or a laparoscopic surgery.
What Is Laparoscopic Appendectomy?
In laparoscopic surgery, we have a laparoscope which is a thin long fiber optic cable that is used to view the insides of a body through a small incision. The incision is usually ranging from between 0.5-1.5 cm.
The two types of laparoscopes are:
- A telescopic rod lens system with a camera that relays the footage back to a viewing device
- A digital laparoscope where a charged coupled device is attached at one end of the laparoscope
Procedure of Laparoscopic Appendectomy
A laparoscope generally consists of a fiber optic cable system that is attached to the cold light source that is usually halogen or xenon to light the area of operation. This is then inserted through the incision and all the way through the opening made to the area of operation.
The surgeon will use a canula, which is a narrow tube-like instrument, that lets him get in all the way to the area where they wish to operate. The laparoscope is then inserted into the opening. Several other canulas are inserted to the site to ensure that the surgeon has space to work properly.
Carbon dioxide gas is usually blown into the abdomen as it helps the abdominal walls to rise creating a good working space. The reason why carbon dioxide is used is because it is not poisonous and can be absorbed. Also, due to the use of electrosurgical instruments, nobody would want anything flammable nearby.
When the surgeon spots the appendix on the video display, he/she will then cut it off after tying it off. The wounds are then cleaned, sewed and dressed.
Risks of a Laparoscopic Appendectomy
An appendectomy is like all other surgeries riddled with possible risks. It is a surgery and even with the laparoscopic technology, the patient may suffer the following, if unprecedented changes take place.
- Pain caused by improper care
- Injuring the organs that surround the appendix
- Blocking of the bowels
However, if you have appendicitis and fail to treat it, it will be much worse than having an appendectomy done on you.
Recovery from the Laparoscopic Appendectomy
As it is with all surgery types, you will be monitored closely for any adverse effects that may be caused by the anesthesia and all other things that may have been done to you.
They will monitor the heart rate, respiration, vital signs and general well-being in terms of health before letting you go home. Before they release you to go, the following will be checked and considered:
- Your health and physical condition must be top notch.
- The type of appendectomy performed matters too. Laparoscopic surgery is desirable as the recovery and release time is short.
- The way your body will react to the procedure.
Most of the patients, who undergo laparoscopic surgery, go home the same day as when the surgery is finished. Recovering is easy when you follow the following instructions.
Do not do the following:
- Lifting weights
- Bicycle riding
- Exercises that strain the incision
If the following symptoms occur, go back to the doctor for further check-up:
- Fever of above 100 degree Fahrenheit
- Feeling chilly or cold
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach and more accurately, abdominal pain
- Constipation that lasts for more than two days
- Increased abdominal swelling
- Persistent cough and running out of breath
- Pus from the incision
- Pain that resists the medication
Advantages of Laparoscopic Appendectomy
The merits of laparoscopic appendectomy outweigh the problems. The results of the procedure depend on the individual’s health and endurance. The body type and other lifestyle choices, before the procedure weigh in a lot.
- After the surgery, the pain experienced is comparatively lesser than that in open surgery
- The amount of time you are required to stay in the hospital is short
- Bowel movements return to normal really fast, as compared to open surgery
- You can get back to work and normal activity in a short time
- The scars that are left are minimal and if the surgeon is really awesome, you cannot even see them at all after some time
- Reduced hemorrhaging, which lessens the chances of getting a blood transfusion
- The exposure of the internal organs to external contaminants is reduced
Disadvantages of Laparoscopic Appendectomy
- The surgeon has little area to work on because the incision is small and this reduces the dexterity
- Patients with an appendix that has already ruptured will not be viable for this type of surgery
- Morbidly obese people are harder to insufflate and hence, they just have to undergo open surgery
- Using tools rather than hands to manipulate tissue is not advisable and the surgeon loses his gift of touch and ability to feel for tumors and ability to sew the incisions and the internal organs properly
- It is not easy to learn how to use the tools provided in a laparoscopic surgery
- Seeing the whole issue at hand by open surgeries is good as the physiology is important to the doctor as he makes the critical decisions and observes the little unseen changes
Laparoscopic surgery is mostly risk free and a safer way to go because the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. However, it can be argued that the technological advancements in that particular field are not very top notch, despite being impressive. A patient may need the doctor to see what exactly is going on in the appendix and its environs.
Finally, when you want to go for surgery, ensure you have a doctor who knows exactly what you need. It is a mostly safe procedure with minimal injury, minimal recovery time and minimal work, for both you and the surgeon.
- Laparoscopic appendectomy is mostly a safer way to go, with minimal injury and minimal recovery time.
- Most patients, who undergo laparoscopic surgery, go home the same day as when the surgery is finished.
- Patients with an appendix that has already ruptured and morbidly obese people will not be viable for this type of surgery.