All About Appendectomies

You might’ve heard that your appendix has no purpose, but that’s not completely true. Studies have shown that this organ can provide a safe place for good bacteria to live in your gut until they’re needed.

This small, 2-4 inch pouch is located near the meeting point of your large and small intestines. Although research shows that your appendix might have some purpose, its removal doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms.

If you show signs of having appendicitis, our board-certified surgeon Jamshid Nazarian, MD, FACS, FAMBS, can perform an appendectomy, which is a general surgery.

Symptoms of appendicitis

Appendicitis is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain that results in surgery. If your appendix experiences a blockage, it becomes inflamed and filled with pus and can burst if not treated immediately.

Your pain typically starts in your belly button area and moves down to your lower right abdomen. As the inflammation grows, your pain increases.

Symptoms include:

  • Quick onset of pain in your abdomen
  • Intensified pain when moving or coughing
  • Worsened pain within a few hours
  • Tenderness in the right side of your abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Low-grade fever

You may also experience diarrhea or constipation or have the inability to pass gas. If you can’t go to the bathroom with ease and think you might have appendicitis, don’t take laxatives or use an enema. They could cause your appendix to burst.

If you suffer from any of the above, seek medical attention right away to avoid further complications.

How your appendix gets blocked

A blockage to your appendix can be caused by:

Appendicitis can happen to anyone, but you’re more susceptible if you’re male, between the ages of 10 and 30, or have it in your family history.

Treatment for appendicitis

If you don’t need emergency surgery, your treatment might begin with antibiotics. Dr. Nazarian may also recommend pain relievers or a liquid diet. If you need surgery and have an abscess, he may drain it with a needle beforehand to make sure it doesn’t rupture.

Dr. Nazarian is an expert surgeon who can perform two different types of appendectomies, including:

Open appendectomy

This type of surgery involves making a 2-4 inch long incision in the lower right side of your abdomen where he can then remove your appendix.

Laparoscopic appendectomy

Dr. Nazarian’s preferred method of surgery is minimally invasive, using 1-3 tiny cuts in your abdomen. He then inserts a long, thin, flexible tube that has a very small video camera and surgical instruments on the end of it. The camera transfers images to a screen that Dr. Nazarian watches, which allows him to guide the tools efficiently to remove your appendix through one of your incisions.

How to prevent appendicitis

We can’t guarantee the avoidance of developing appendicitis. However, it tends to be less common in people who eat a high-fiber diet, which includes:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Peas, beans, and legumes
  • Whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, and whole wheat bread

Dr. Navarian may also recommend that you take a fiber supplement to help avoid any blockages.

If you show signs of appendicitis, you may need treatment that includes an appendectomy. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Nazarian, call us at 310-854-1174 or book an appointment online today.

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