A new, less invasive technique for removing the appendix

Published: Aug. 6, 2015 at 2:54 AM CDT|Updated: Feb. 4, 2016 at 4:04 AM CST
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Every year there are about 250,000 cases of appendicitis, mostly in young people.

Symptoms include severe stomach pain, fever, loss of appetite and nausea.

Sounds like a stomach bug. But if you're concerned that the pain is more severe, Dr. John Fitzwater, a Pediatric Surgeon and Texas Tech Physician, says it's worth seeking medical attention.

Appendicitis is easily identified with an ultrasound, sometimes even by touch.

The good news is the surgery to get rid of the appendix is advancing.

Dr. Fitzwater is the first in Lubbock to use this new technique.

He says, "In the past, we would make three incisions. We would make one below the belly button. We would make two others outside the belly button and take the appendix out through one of those sites, using a stapler. Now we use one incision just in the belly button and you pull the appendix out through the belly button and tie it off."

Dr. Fitzwater adds the recovery is faster because the patient just has one tiny hole instead of three to heal.

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