Fast Facts about Laparoscopic Appendectomy
Most lumps are not cancerous, but women should have them checked by a health care professional.
What is Laparoscopic Appendectomy?
The appendix (uh-PEN-dix) is a narrow, finger-shaped organ located in the lower right side of the belly. It is connected to the large intestine, and has no function in humans. Appendectomy (app-pen-DECK-toe-me) is done as an emergency surgery for appendicitis because the appendix has become inflamed (swollen) and needs to be removed. If it is not removed, it could burst and cause infection called peritonitis (per-i-toe-NY-tus ) in the abdomen. A laparoscopic (lap-a-ro- SKOPP-ik) or “lap” appendectomy is a minimally invasive surgery to remove the appendix through several small incisions, rather than through one large one. Recovery time from the lap appendectomy is short.
Preparing for the Surgery
Most patients who need a lap appendectomy enter the hospital through the Emergency Department and are taken to surgery within a few hours. Your child will be given antibiotics first and then be taken to surgery.
A pediatric anesthesiologist — a doctor who specializes in anesthesia for children — will meet with you before the surgery to ask questions about your child’s health and about when your child last ate. This information is important because many patients with appendicitis appear to have a full stomach because of irritation from the inflamed appendix. Because your child may have eaten more recently than is usually advised for surgery, the anesthesiologist may make adjustments to your child’s anesthesia so that he or she does not vomit during the
operation. Once admitted, your child will not be able to have anything to eat or drink until after the operation.
Going to Sleep
While your child is asleep, his or her heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and blood oxygen level will be checked continuously. Your child might have a breathing tube placed while he or she is asleep. If a breathing tube is used, your child might have a sore throat after the surgery.
To keep your child asleep during the surgery, he or she might be given anesthetic medication by mask, through the IV tube, or both. When the surgery is over, the medications will be stopped and your child will begin to wake up.