Also known as appendectomy in areas that tend to use American versions of English words. Thanks to dinkybug for pointing this out to me.

The name of the procedure by which the appendix is surgically removed. Normally done for suspected cases of appendicitis, where the appendix is infected and inflamed.

The usual surgical wound for an open appendicectomy is roughly 5-10cm diagonal wound in the right lower part of the abdomen, roughly over where the appendix usually lies. Many laymen (and laywomen) wrongly assume that the better surgeon is the one that leaves the smaller scar. This is only partially true. If I had to have my appendix taken out, I would like my surgical wound to be "adequate" and no more. There is nothing worse than a surgeon missing seeing something because the cosmetic result was deemed to be most important.

Many surgeons routinely look for a Meckel's diverticulum while doing an appendicectomy, especially if the appendix turns out to be not swollen, even though a Meckel's diverticulum itself is uncommon because they can sometimes mimic the presentation of an appendix.

More appendicectomies are carried out than are actually necessary because there is a high level of suspicion and a low threshold for operating when it comes to appendicitis because of the grave consequences of missing a "hot" appendix. A missed swollen and infected appendix could rupture, leading to peritonitis, which is a life-threatening situation.

Uncommonly (or rarely), adhesions could arise as a complication from a simple appendicectomy, leading to bowel obstruction. This is, however, a complication common to all intra-peritoneal operations (anytime the bowel is handled), not just appendicectomies.

Though there are those that would disagree (and a node somewhere here on E2 that says so), the appendix is totally unnecessary in humans and we live pretty well without it.

Don't look down on appendicectomies as simple operations. If your appendix was swollen, red and full of pus, your surgeon probably saved your life.

Ap`pen*dec"to*my (?), Ap*pend`i*cec"to*my (?), n. [Appendix + Gr. &?;, fr. &?; excision.] (Surg.)

Excision of the vermiform appendix.


© Webster 1913.

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