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Appendix is a vestigial organ lying in between small and the large intestine called colon. Although, it has no proven use to the human body, it definitely has the propensity to develop serious diseases including cancers. The most common type is the mucin secreting adenocarcinoma. This cancer is unique in the sense that in case it ruptures it causes spread of the mucin (gelatinous material) containing cancerous tissue in the peritoneal cavity. This is called as Pseudomyxoma peritoneii. It is a slow growing cancer which usually do not metastasize.

 

Presentation-

Usually it is detected only in later stages as initially it does not cause specific symptoms.

Symptoms include abdominal fullness, distension, pain and vomitings.

 

Treatment-

Laparoscopic appendectomy-

In the most initial stages it is curable by a simple procedure called laparoscopic appendectomy. But usually it is an incidental finding

 

Appendectomy with enbloc right hemicolectomy-

It is done when the cancer of the appendix is big and involves the base of the cecum (part of the large intestine)

 

Cytoreductive surgery with Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (CRS + HIPEC Plus)-

This is indicated for the condition called pseudomyxoma peritoneii (caused by the rupture of appendix cancer). In this the whole disease containing organs and peritoneum are resected and the intra abdominal chemotherapy is given at the temperature of 41 – 43 degree celcius for 90 minutes with the help of a specific machine.

It is useful operation in increasing the overall survival of such patients.