Slideshow: Appendicitis & Appendectomy Pictures

Reviewed by Jay W. Marks, MD on Thursday, August 21, 2008

The appendix is a small, worm-like appendage attached to the colon.

The appendix is a small, worm-like appendage attached to the colon.

Appendicitis occurs when bacteria invade and infect the wall of the appendix.

Appendicitis occurs when bacteria invade and infect the wall of the appendix.

Appendicitis is a common condition that affects 6% of the population.

Appendicitis is a common condition that affects 6% of the population.

The most common complications of appendicitis are perforation, abscess, and peritonitis.

The most common complications of appendicitis are perforation, abscess, and peritonitis.

A less common complication of appendicitis is blockage of the intestine.

A less common complication of appendicitis is blockage of the intestine.

The main symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain.

The main symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain.

The diagnosis of appendicitis begins with a thorough history and physical examination.

The diagnosis of appendicitis begins with a thorough history and physical examination.

Treatment usually consists of appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix).

Treatment usually consists of appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix).

Step 1 of 8: The appendix is located in the lower abdomen.

Step 1 of 8: The appendix is located in the lower abdomen.

Step 2 of 8: The mesentery (the tissue that suspends the appendix and carries blood vessels to the appendix) is divided from the appendix.

Step 2 of 8: The mesentery (the tissue that suspends the appendix and carries blood vessels to the appendix) is divided from the appendix.

Step 3 of 8: Scissors are used to free the appendix from its mesenteric attachment to the abdomen and colon.

Step 3 of 8: Scissors are used to free the appendix from its mesenteric attachment to the abdomen and colon.

Step 4 of 8: The base of the appendix is tied off using a pre-tied suture.

Step 4 of 8: The base of the appendix is tied off using a pre-tied suture.

Step 5 of 8: The suture is now tightened using a fisherman's knot, which cannot loosen on its own.

Step 5 of 8: The suture is now tightened using a fisherman's knot, which cannot loosen on its own.

Step 6 of 8: The suture is cut using scissors.

Step 6 of 8: The suture is cut using scissors.

Step 7 of 8: The appendix is cut free and ready to be removed.

Step 7 of 8: The appendix is cut free and ready to be removed.

Step 8 of 8: The operation is complete and inspected.

Step 8 of 8: The operation is complete and inspected.

An example of an infected appendix that has been removed (left) and the resulting incisional scar from an appendectomy (right).

An example of an infected appendix that has been removed and the resulting incisional scar from an appendectomy.

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