How is appendicitis treated?
At Children's Colorado, pediatric surgeons perform an operation called an appendectomy to remove the appendix using minimally-invasive surgical techniques. That means the surgeons create three small incisions to look inside the body with a camera and perform the removal surgery. This is called a laparoscopic method. Sometimes, surgeons can't perform the surgery this way and instead need to make a larger incision between two to four inches, which allows them to see inside your child's body without using a camera.
To close the incisions, stitches are placed under the skin and dissolve over the course of several weeks. Small dressing tapes called steri-strips will be placed over the incision(s).
After the operation, the patient will be admitted to the hospital surgical unit to monitor their recovery. We monitor kids during this time to make sure the infection clears.
How is perforated appendicitis treated?
There are two ways to treat perforated appendicitis. The treatment method depends on the patient's clinical symptoms, physical exam and diagnostic studies. Appendicitis can be treated with an appendectomy as described above. However, sometimes, the contents of the colon spill out into the abdominal cavity because of the hole (perforation) in the appendix. This can cause a very infected and inflamed environment in the abdomen, making it not an ideal scenario for operating.
In this case, the surgeon may decide that it is best to treat the patient with IV antibiotics for several weeks. The patient will get a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line, which is an IV that the patient can use outside the hospital and receive IV antibiotics at home.
About five to eight weeks later when the infection has cleared and the patient is well, the surgeon will remove the appendix.
Why choose Children's Colorado for your child's appendicitis?
Minimally invasive techniques
At Children's Colorado, our pediatric surgeons perform the latest minimally invasive surgeries including laparoscopy, single incision. This approach shortens healing time, and lessens the pain and discomfort of surgery for children.
Your child's care team is pediatric-trained
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.