Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

What to Expect from an Appendectomy

The red part is the scary part.

Even though one in 20 people in the United States will get appendicitis at some point in their lives, most of us never give our appendix a second thought. That is, until something goes wrong and we require an appendectomy to surgically remove that small pouch attached to the large intestine on the lower right side.


Specialists Brian Prebil, DO, and Eric Thomas, MD, FACS, at our Center for Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery in Peoria, Arizona, have performed more robotic surgery cases in the Western United States than anyone else. Dr. Prebil and Dr. Thomas offer either general surgery or minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to remove your appendix, depending on your particular situation.

When good organs go bad

While more than 533 mammals possess an appendix, little is known about its purpose. One theory suggests it may play a pivotal role as a storehouse for good bacteria, keeping our intestines healthy. It might also assist our immune system. 


Whatever its function, we do know that when our appendix goes bad, it must be removed before it wreaks havoc upon our health.

Ins and outs of appendix surgery 

If your appendix bursts, you need open surgery immediately. Our surgeon makes an open incision between 2-4 inches on the right side below your abdomen. 


During general surgery, our surgeon:



After your appendectomy is complete, our surgeon closes your abdominal lining and muscles with stitches, and may insert a small to tube to temporarily drain fluids.


We make a larger cut if your appendix ruptured. You’ll be asleep under general anesthesia for both general and laparoscopic appendix surgery. In many cases, surgery takes about an hour or less, unless your appendix has already burst.

Laparoscopic appendectomy

We can also use minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to remove your appendix, as long as it hasn’t ruptured. 


During this type of appendectomy, one of our board-certified surgeons makes 1-3 tiny incisions on the right side beneath your belly. They insert a thin tube, called a laparoscope, containing a miniature video camera and surgical tools. The camera sends images of your appendix to an external monitor and our surgeon uses those images to guide removal of your appendix.


Since the incision is smaller with laparoscopic surgery, there is:



You and our expert team discuss your options to decide which procedure is appropriate.

Signs and symptoms of appendicitis

Appendicitis can strike anytime at any place. We advise you to contact our office or an emergency room if you experience such symptoms as:



It’s critical you contact your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms. In the meantime, avoid consuming over-the-counter pain relievers, antacids, laxatives, or liquids.

After your appendectomy

We advise our patients to stay in bed for at least 12 hours after an appendectomy. You can usually return to your normal routine within three weeks, or sooner following a laparoscopy.


Contact us if you experience:


The sooner you get help the better

An inflamed appendix eventually bursts without surgery. When that occurs, harmful bacteria escapes into your abdominal cavity, where it can infect your stomach, intestines, and liver. While you can’t control if you get appendicitis, eating high-fiber foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, seems to help.


If you need an appendectomy, Dr. Prebil and Dr. Thomas can discuss any concerns you have and how minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery, or general surgery, might help. Simply call us or send a message online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Rectus Diastasis: A Hazard of Pregnancy

Rectus diastasis occurs when the abdominal muscles separate. This often happens during pregnancy and can trigger muscle weakness and lower back pain. Learn to recognize the signs of rectus diastasis and when to find treatment.

The 3 Most Common Hernias

Hernias are common, often developing when overuse or strain creates a weak spot in abdominal muscles. All hernias share similarities, but where they occur in your body affects the symptoms you experience.

5 Signs You May Have a Thyroid Problem

Thyroid disorder occurs when crucial thyroid hormone levels are out of balance in your body. It’s common, but often underdiagnosed and untreated. From weight changes to hair loss, learn more about the most common signs of thyroid disorders.

Stomach Aches You Shouldn't Ignore

No one enjoys stomach aches. And while pain from indigestion or viral infection typically dissipates on its own, some health issues cause chronic stomach pain that can interfere with your everyday life. Learn about stomach aches you shouldn’t ignore.

4 Benefits of Robotic Surgery

No one likes the idea of surgery, but sometimes it’s necessary to fight disease and keep you healthy. Today’s technology means you can have a smaller incision, less pain, and faster recovery. Learn more about the benefits of robotic surgery.

Signs of a Hernia

A hernia develops when an organ protrudes through your muscle wall, creating a bulge that’s often visible on the outside. Hernias may not always cause pain, but they can lead to significant health complications. Learn the common signs of a hernia.