Laparoscopic Appendectomy

Laparoscopic appendectomy is the standard of care for appendicitis. The procedure has several advantages, including lower risk for postoperative infection, faster recovery time, a smaller scar, and a shorter hospital stay.

The surgeon makes a very small incision right below the navel and inserts an instrument called a laparoscope. The laparoscope is a long tube with a lens at one end and a miniature video camera at the other. The laparoscope enables the doctor to see the appendix. Several more tiny incisions are made to allow for the passage of instruments, which are used to cut and clamp off the appendix.

The laparoscope is also used as a diagnostic tool. The doctor is able to see if the appendix is inflamed and, if the appendix is not the cause of the patient's symptoms, other organs can be seen in order to identify the source of the symptoms.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Oct 2001

Last Modified: 01 Sep 2015