Reviewed by David Derrer on February 06, 2014
MedicineNet.com. Mayo Clinic. Medline Plus. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
Copyright - All material ©1999 - 2010 Nucleus Medical Media Inc. All rights reserved.
Narrator: The appendix is a small, hollow pouch attached to your large intestine. Fecal matter, inflammation, or other causes of obstruction can block the opening of the appendix, leading to a dangerous bacterial infection called appendicitis. An inflamed appendix can rupture and spread infection inside your abdominal cavity. If you have appendicitis, your doctor will perform an appendectomy. During an appendectomy, your surgeon will remove your appendix using either an open or laparoscopic procedure. In an open appendectomy, your surgeon will make an incision in your lower abdomen. He or she will remove your appendix while being careful not to allow any infection to escape into your abdominal cavity. After the procedure, your surgeon will close your incision. During a laparoscopic appendectomy, your surgeon will make small incisions in your abdomen and insert a lighted camera. He or she will view your organs on a video screen [pause] and use special tools to carefully remove your appendix. Following the procedure, your surgeon will close the small incisions.