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Ever suffered from appendicitis? You’re not alone.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 5% of Americans will experience appendicitis at some point in their lives. Appendicitis is infection and inflammation of the appendix and causes severe, acute abdominal pain.

Left untreated, appendicitis can cause some serious problems. An infected appendix can burst open. When that happens, the infection is free to spread in the abdominal cavity. Severe cases can even result in death.

That’s why it’s vital to recognize appendicitis early on and seek treatment. In some cases, antibiotics can cure the infection without the need for surgery. Unfortunately, medication isn’t always enough to overcome appendicitis. 

That’s when appendectomy comes into play.

What Is an Appendectomy?

An appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix. Because no part of the appendix remains in the body, future bouts of appendicitis are impossible. This provides a lifetime cure for the disease. 

There are currently two methods of appendectomy available. Both have the same end goal. The two methods are:

  • Open appendectomy — A single incision is made in the abdomen, through which the surgeon removes the diseased appendix. This method may be required if you’re severely obese, you have an extremely infected and inflamed appendix, or your appendix has already ruptured. It may also be used in cases when scar tissue or other issues make it difficult to view your organs clearly.
  • Laparoscopic appendectomy — Using small incisions (normally three), the surgeon inserts tiny tools and a tiny video camera into the abdomen and guides them to the appendix. The appendix is then removed through these small holes.

General Surgeons With Specialized Expertise

At MultiCare, our general surgeons are specially trained to evaluate appendicitis and determine an appropriate treatment method. When appendectomy is needed, the surgeons go to work removing your appendix with high-tech, specialized equipment. 

One piece of technology that has changed how surgery is performed at MultiCare is the da Vinci Surgical System. Using video technology, the surgeon guides the da Vinci’s robotic arms to the site of surgery. By using da Vinci, the surgeon can operate with unmatched precision and range of motion. When the surgeon removes diseased organs, such as the appendix, the da Vinci causes less interaction with surrounding organs and tissue. As a result, there is less risk for complications and recovery time is shortened.

Find a General Surgeon Near You

Learn more about our general surgeons specializing in appendectomy and how they can help you.