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The appendix is a tiny organ located deep in the lower right abdomen.

Sometimes, the appendix becomes infected and has to be removed so that it does not spill infection into the abdomen. It’s a common surgery that is now preformed almost exclusively using minimally invasive techniques.  If appendicitis is not addressed before the appendix ruptures, it can cause serious illness.  If you experience the following symptoms, seek medical attention.

Common Symptoms of Appendicitis:

  • Persistent pain around the belly button or in the upper or lower abdomen that progressively worsens. May be accompanied with nausea or vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Fever
  • Constipation or diarrhea with gas (inability to pass gas)

Laparoscopic Appendectomy

The only way to effectively treat appendicitis is to remove the appendix. This commonly performed procedure is done hundreds of times each year by board-certified trained surgeons at WakeMed. First, the surgeon makes three tiny incisions in the lower right abdomen. One incision will be used to insert a very small camera that magnifies the region, giving a clear view of the appendix and surrounding organs. The other two incisions are used for instruments and removal of the infected appendix. Sometimes, the surgeon may put a drain in place to help with drainage, but this will be removed before discharge.

In some cases, due to obesity or previous surgeries in the lower abdomen, the surgery may have to be performed as an open procedure. This is rare and most can be done through laparoscopy. Patients normally stay no more than one day in the hospital and recover quickly, usually within one to two weeks.

Learn What to Expect from Laparoscopic Appendectomy

WakeMed has board-certified general surgeons on staff who perform minimally invasive, corrective procedures. Find the WakeMed general surgeon by calling WakeMed Doctor Choice at 919-350-8900 .