Title

Appendectomy

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2004

Journal

Laparoscopic Surgery: Principles and Procedures, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded

Abstract

© 2004 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All rights reserved. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics describe the appendix as the “worm of the bowel.” Subsequently, it was illustrated by Leonardo da Vinci in 1492 and described by Vesalius in 1543 in his De Humani Corporis Fabrica. Named the “appendix vermiformis” by the Flemish anatomist Verheyen in 1710, this organ is the object of the most commonly performed emergency surgical procedures in western countries. More than 260,000 appendectomies were performed in the United States in 1997. Approximately 53% of these procedures are performed for appendicitis and 47% for incidental or prophylactic reasons. The diagnosis of acute appendicitis may be a diagnostic dilemma if the patient is at the extremes of age, is female, or has variant anatomy. Due to these diagnostic challenges, 15-45% of explorations for presumed appendicitis yield negative findings.

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