Laparoscopic appendectomy is an advanced minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to remove the appendix in people with appendicitis. Your appendix is a small growth that extends off your large intestine. Although the appendix has no known purpose, it can become inflamed, infected, or rupture. Immediate surgery is necessary to remove the appendix to prevent infection and severe complications. Laparoscopic appendectomy is the preferred surgical method because it uses only small incisions and is associated with a quick recovery time and few post-operative complications.
Traditional open surgical procedures for appendicitis require a larger incision to remove the appendix and explore the area. Laparoscopic appendectomy is less invasive because it uses a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a thin tube with a light and viewing instrument. The laparoscope is inserted through a small incision and sends images to a monitor for viewing. The images are used to guide the surgery. Thin surgical instruments are inserted through a hollow tube in the laparoscope to remove the appendix. Although several small incisions may be necessary to reposition the laparoscope during the procedure, the body does not need to be “opened,” as with traditional surgery methods. Laparoscopic appendectomy results in less pain, few complications, and little scarring. It requires a shorter hospital stay and has a faster recovery time than traditional open surgery methods.
Laparoscopic appendectomy may not be appropriate for all people. People with heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, prior abdominal surgery, and certain diseases may not be good candidates for this procedure. Your doctor will determine which surgical procedure is most appropriate for you.