The appendix is attached to the large intestine at the point where the small intestine ends and the colon begins. Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. Inflammation can occur when there is a blockage at the opening of the appendix into the large bowel. This blockage can sometimes be due to stool blocking the opening. When inflammation of the appendix occurs a person may experience certain symptoms.
Treatment for appendicitis is surgical removal, or appendectomy, if the inflammation is contained to one area. If the inflammation progresses, the appendix can burst. If the appendix bursts then the infection can spread to the abdomen. If the appendix does burst before surgery, the surgeon may want to treat the infection first and then do surgery at a later time.
Prior to the development of minimally invasive surgery, surgeons traditionally performed an open incision and removal of the appendix. This technique required a larger incision to remove the appendix. Now patients commonly have a laparoscopic appendectomy, which is one of many minimally invasive procedures allowing the surgeon to perform the same surgery through a smaller incision benefiting the patient with less pain after surgery and a shorter hospital stay.
You can expect to have three to four small abdominal incisions after surgery usually covered with a small band-aid. Some patients may have a drain after surgery that nursing staff will teach you how to care for at home. Many patients experience a minimal amount of pain/discomfort after surgery. When cleared by your physician you will be able to get out of bed and walk, begin to start eating, and be discharged home.