Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
(603) 742-5252
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Physicians
myWDconnect Patient Portal
Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Health Library
Health Insurance Marketplace
Interpreter and Communication Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Records
Accountable Care Organization
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials
Food and Nutrition Services
Back to Health Library   Print This Page Print    Email to a Friend Email
< back

Normal anatomy:

The appendix is a small, finger-shaped pouch of intestinal tissue arising from the cecum near its junction with the small intestine.


Normal anatomy


Indications:

If the appendix becomes infected it must be surgically removed before it ruptures and spreads infection to the entire abdominal space. Symptoms of acute appendicitis include pain in the lower right side of the abdomen, fever, reduced appetite, nausea or vomiting.

Before surgery, the doctor will perform a physical exam. The physician will check the abdomen for tenderness and tightness and check the rectum for tenderness and an enlarged appendix. In women, a pelvic exam is also performed to exclude pain caused by the ovaries or uterus. Additionally, blood tests and X-rays may also be performed.

There is no test to confirm appendicitis and the symptoms may be caused by other illnesses. The doctor must diagnose from the information you report and what he sees. During appendectomy surgery, even if the surgeon finds that the appendix is not infected (which can happen up to 25% of the time), he will thoroughly check the other abdominal organs and remove the appendix anyway.


Indications


Incision:

Depending upon the circumstances of the individual patient, an appendectomy can be performed in one of two ways, through an open incision or with a laparoscope.

In the open technique, an incision is made in the lower right side of the abdomen, through the skin, muscle wall, and peritoneum. The appendix is located and then carefully freed from the surrounding structures and removed.

In the laparoscopic technique, several small incisions are made in the abdomen. In one incision a laparoscope is inserted. The laparoscope has a tiny lens to which a TV camera is attached. The appendectomy is performed by the surgeon while looking at the TV monitor. Small instruments are inserted in the other incisions and used to to remove the appendix.


Incision


Procedure:

If a pocket of infection has formed, or the appendix has ruptured, the abdomen will be thoroughly washed out during surgery. The surgeon may then leave the skin open and allow it to heal together on its own, to allow the infection to drain, or less frequently, put in a small drainage tube.


Procedure


Aftercare:

Recovery from a simple appendectomy is usually complete and rapid. Most patients can go home the day after the operation, and resume normal diet and activities within one to two weeks. If the appendix has developed an abscess or has ruptured, the recovery may be slower and more complicated, requiring use of medications to treat the infection (antibiotics).

Living without an appendix causes no known health problems.


Aftercare



Review Date: 4/17/2008
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, M.D., M.H.A., F.A.C.E.P., Section of Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Find What You Need

Events
Careers
Foundation
About Us
Contact
Directions
News
Social Media Agreement
Joint Notice
Web Privacy Policy
WDH Staff Portal

Centers & Services

Cancer Center
Cardiovascular Care
Joint Replacement
Women & Children's
Physician Offices
Other Services

Conditions & Treatments

Health Library

Support Services

Support Groups
Care-Van
Dental Center
Social Work
Food & Nutrition
Integrative Wellness
Spiritual Care
Concerns & Grievances
Homecare and Hospice

For Patients

Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Interpreter Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Record Request
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials

For Healthcare Professionals

Work and Life
Financial Well-Being
Career and Growth

The Wentworth-Douglass Health System includes:

 

Address

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100