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Laparoscopic Appendectomy

When an appendix is removed laparoscopically, 3 or 4 incisions, each 0.25 in. (0.6 cm) to 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long, are made in the abdomen. A surgeon inserts a viewing device (laparoscope) into one incision. The laparoscope is attached outside the body to a video monitor, allowing the surgeon to see inside the abdomen. Surgical instruments are inserted into the other incisions to remove the appendix.

General anesthetic is required for laparoscopic appendectomy. The procedure generally lasts 2 hours or less.

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With laparoscopic appendectomy:1

  • Recovery usually is faster and less painful than after traditional open surgery.
  • You may spend less time in the hospital.
  • You may spend less time away from work and other activities.


  1. Sauerland S, et al. (2010). Laparoscopic versus open surgery for suspected appendicitis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (10).

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised April 5, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 05, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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