The appendix is a pouch like structure that is attached to the large intestine. It is usually located in the lower right side of the abdomen. There is no known function of appendix.
The appendix can get obstructed causing appendicitis. If early appendicitis is not identified and is not surgically removed, the infection of the appendix can progress to produce gangrene of the appendix causing it to burst in to the abdominal cavity. This allows the infection and bacteria to spread rapidly and a person can die from peritonitis. Therefore it is important to remove the appendix as soon as appendicitis is suspected.
The signs and symptoms of appendicitis include nausea, lack of appetite, pain around the umbilicus and pain shifting to right lower quadrant of abdomen. Only a doctor can diagnose appendicitis and refer a patient.
Laparoscopic Appendectomy: For a long time surgeons like myself used to remove the appendix by making an incision in the lower right side of the abdomen, cutting through the abdominal wall muscle. Due to the advent of Laparoscopy Surgery some surgeons like myself have adopted Laparoscopic Appendectomy procedure in to their practice. I find that Laparoscopic Appendectomy is easier on my patients with less postoperative pain as the incisions are smaller and the large area of muscle is not divided to take the appendix out. Some of my patients have gone back to school or to work in less than 1 week.
If you suspect that you or someone you know have appendicitis please make an appointment with our office by calling (559) 782 8533 or contact your doctor or go to a nearest ER for further evaluation and management.