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If your appendicitis is confirmed your surgeon will recommend removing your appendix (appendicectomy).

Your appendix is a small sac attached to your main bowl on the lower right side of your abdomen (stomach). It really has no function but sometimes your appendix can become inflamed (swollen) causing you pain and making you feel unwell. This irritation is called appendicitis.

Patients who present with the symptoms of appendicitis may have a blood test, an ultrasound scan or x-ray.

It is important that an appendicectomy be performed as soon as possible to avoid your appendix becoming more inflamed or perforated (burst) causing infection (peritonitis).

What happens during an appendicectomy?

An appendicectomy is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes between 30 minutes-1 hour. Your surgeon will remove the appendix either by using the laparoscopic (‘keyhole’) technique or by an open incision (cut) in the lower abdomen.

During a laparoscopic appendicectomy your surgeon will use a thin tube with a camera attached to inspect the inside of your abdomen through a small incision. Once your appendix is found they will remove it using other instruments passed through other small incisions. They will close the incisions with stitches or staples.

An open appendicectomy is performed using one incision in your abdomen.

Recovery from an appendicectomy

If your appendix is not perforated you may be able to go home after 1-2 days. Patients with a perforated appendix may need a longer hospital stay and treatment with antibiotics.

You should be able to return to normal activities within four weeks after your procedure. Be sure and discuss any return to work with your surgeon. 

Most patients make a quick recovery from an appendicectomy.

Risks

As with any surgical procedure, appendicectomy can result in complications such as:

  • Developing an abscess
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Vomiting
  • Developing a leak
  • Obstruction of the bowel
  • Pylephlebitis (inflammation of the portal vein which goes to the liver)

Appendicectomy consultants at Wessex Hospital

Wessex Hospital

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377

By car: our hospital is conveniently located just off Junction 12 of the M3 between Southampton and Winchester, with free parking available. Parking Eye is in operation at this site, please ensure you input your car registration on one of the portals at the main reception. By public transport: the nearest train station is Chandlers Ford - a 20-minute train journey from Southampton Central station. The 1 Bluestar bus, which serves Southampton, Chandlers Ford and Winchester, is just 5 minutes walk from the hospital.

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