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Painless solution for kids with appendicitis.

Dubai: Children suffering from appendicitis in the UAE can now get operated through a painless, minimally invasive procedure that entails same-day discharge and quick recovery.

Appendicitis, a relatively common occurrence among children, is an inflammation of the appendix, a tube that branches off the large intestine. It is caused by infection and requires emergency surgery to remove the appendix as it could otherwise rupture and lead to a life-threatening condition.

The private Mediclinic City Hospital in Dubai Healthcare City said unlike conventional open surgeries, it has now acquired the expertise to do laparoscopy-assisted appendectomies with a single incision in the umbilicus. The technique is called TUL or Transumbilical laparoscopic-assisted appendectomy and is used for children aged up to 14 years.

Dr Ghassan Nakkib, Consultant Pediatric Surgeon, said: "This technique is ideally suited for children as it is minimally invasive. It is usually bloodless, painless and leaves no scars. It takes around 30-45 minutes and the child can be discharged the same day. The recovery time is around two weeks, far quicker than with conventional surgeries."

He said the process is fairly simple. Once the appendicitis is diagnosed, the child is prepared for the emergency procedure by administering antibiotics and disinfecting the umbilicus. The surgery, done under general anaesthesia, entails pumping air into the abdomen and inserting a 10 mm trocar through a small incision made in the umbilicus. Once the appendix is located and dissected, it is freed and pulled out.

Dr Nakkib said the importance of immediately treating appendicitis cannot be undermined. If left untreated, the appendix could rupture or get perforated, allowing stool, mucus and other substances to leak into the abdomen, causing an infection called peritonitis.

"The risk of rupture may occur within 48 hours after symptoms begin to show, so appendicitis is an emergency and a patient needs to see a doctor immediately."

The main symptom is abdominal pain which gets progressively worse. The lower abdomen is usually tender, particularly in the lower right-hand side. Other symptoms include nausea, fever, constipation and frequent urge to urinate.

The surgery costs around Dh12,000 and is covered by insurance.

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Publication:XPRESS (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 19, 2014
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