Appendectomy Specialist

Maria Palafox, MD

Breast Cancer Surgeon & General Surgeon located in San Antonio, TX

The purpose of your appendix remains somewhat of a mystery, and its role in your body goes mostly unnoticed throughout your life. When an infection in this small organ occurs, however, your appendix’s presence makes itself painfully known, and its removal becomes a matter of necessity. In San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Maria Palafox specializes in this surgery, called an appendectomy, using the latest laparoscopic techniques whenever possible. If you require an appendectomy, turn to the quality and skilled hands of a general surgeon such as Dr. Palafox. Call or book an appointment online to learn more.

Appendectomy Q & A

by Maria Palafox, MD

What is appendicitis?

Your appendix is a small pouch that’s attached to your intestines on the lower right-hand side of your abdomen. While doctors are unclear as to the purpose of your appendix, they believe it may have something to do with regulating digestive issues, such as diarrhea, infections, and inflammation.

It's exactly these last two — infection and inflammation — that cause appendicitis. If your appendix becomes infected, the infection leads to bacteria and pus buildup in the small pouch that, left unchecked, can cause your appendix to burst.

If you’re appendix bursts, it sends this harmful bacteria into your abdomen, which can be very dangerous. That's why it’s crucial to catch appendicitis in its early stages.

What are the symptoms of appendicitis?

Luckily, the symptoms of appendicitis are usually quite evident, which allows you enough time to seek medical help from Dr. Palafox. These symptoms include:

  • Pain in your lower abdomen on the right side
  • Swelling in your abdomen
  • Rigid abdominal muscles
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhea

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s vital that you see Dr. Palafox immediately. If these symptoms are moderate to severe, and you’re also running a fever, you should head straight to the emergency room.

When do I need an appendectomy?

Once Dr. Palafox confirms an appendicitis diagnosis, she reviews the best course of treatment for you, which may include an appendectomy (the removal of your appendix).

Depending on your situation and the stage of your appendicitis, Dr. Palafox removes your appendix in one of two ways:

Open surgery

In open surgery, Dr. Palafox makes an incision on the lower right side of your abdomen to gain a clear view of your appendix and the surrounding area. Once she assesses the extent of your appendicitis, Dr. Palafox removes your appendix, cleans out your abdominal cavity if your appendix has burst, and closes and sutures the incision.

Laparoscopic appendectomy

During this procedure, Dr. Palafox makes tiny incisions in your abdomen to allow a small camera and specialized instruments through to remove your appendix. With these tools, Dr. Palafox inflates your abdomen to gain better access, and then ties off and removes your appendix. The advantage of a laparoscopic procedure is that it’s minimally invasive.

If you require an appendectomy, trust a skilled surgeon like Dr. Palafox to do the job. Call or book an appointment online to get started.