Appendicitis: How We Treat


How is appendicitis treated?

Usually an operation called an appendectomy is done to surgically remove the appendix. The operation can be done by making an open incision or by using a laparoscopic method, which is more common.

If the surgery is performed laparoscopically, the surgeon will use a long thin camera lens called a laparoscope and long thin instruments. Three tiny incisions are made in the abdomen, including one that is hidden in the belly button. The surgeon will insert the tiny camera and laparoscopic instruments through the small incisions and remove the appendix.

To close the incisions, stitches will be placed under the skin and will dissolve over the course of several weeks. Small dressing tapes called steri-strips will be placed over the incision(s).

If the appendix has not burst, then the patient will not require long-term antibiotics and usually can go home in 1 or 2 days. If the appendix has already ruptured, then the infection will require a longer course of antibiotics and recovery will take longer. For a few patients with delayed diagnosis, the best treatment is drainage of the infection (abscess) and removal of the appendix weeks later.

Why choose Children's Hospital Colorado for your child's appendicitis?

Children's Colorado has a dedicated team of pediatric surgeons and anesthesiologists who serve children exclusively. Our care team is experienced in this procedure and in providing the best care for kids.