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Health Tip: Laparoscopic Appendectomy

Is this method right for you?

(HealthDay News) -- Your appendix is a small, finger-shaped pouch that projects out from your colon on the lower-right side of your abdomen. The appendix has no known purpose, but that doesn't mean it can't cause problems.

In fact, about 7 percent of Americans develop appendicitis, a condition that almost always used to require the organ's surgical removal.

Today, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most cases of acute appendicitis can be treated laparoscopically. The main advantages of this less-invasive surgery are:

  • Less postoperative pain.
  • Faster recovery and return to normal activity.
  • Shorter hospital stay (24-36 hours, versus two to five days).
  • Fewer post-operative complications.
  • Minimal incisions and scars.

However, this technique is not for everyone. Patients with certain cardiac and lung diseases would not be good candidates. It may also be more difficult in people who have had previous lower abdominal surgery and for those who are obese.

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