Weight Loss, Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery

Upper Gastrointestinal, Oesophageal & Stomach Surgery

Cancer Screening, Endoscopy / Gastroscopy & Colonoscopy

Keyhole and General Surgery

Emergency and Acute Care Surgery

Keyhole surgery for acute (emergency) appendicitis in Singapore. Prevent complications from a ruptured appendix

Dr. Tan Chun Hai

Dr. Tan Chun Hai

Dual Fellowship Trained Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon
MBBS (Melbourne), Masters of Medicine (Surgery), FRCS (Edinburgh), FAMS (General Surgery)


What is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis refers to the inflammation or infection of the appendix. The appendix is a finger-shaped pouch that sticks out from the large intestine, located at the lower right part of your abdomen.

In cases of an acute appendicitis, the condition becomes a medical emergency. An immediate surgery, removing the appendix, would then be required to prevent it from rupturing.

Why is Appendicitis Generally Considered as a Medical Emergency?

An acute appendicitis is a sudden and severe inflammation of the appendix. As it can progress quickly, an acute appendicitis can cause the appendix to rupture within 48 to 72 hours, if left untreated.

When the appendix ruptures, it will release infected material throughout the abdomen and cause a serious infection known as peritonitis. Further complications include the occurrence of sepsis (the body’s extreme response to an infection), which is life-threatening.

Hence to prevent such complications, an immediate surgery is warranted to remove the appendix and clean the infection out of the abdominal cavity.

What Causes Appendicitis?

Symptoms of Appendicitis

If you suspect that you have appendicitis, get immediate attention from our surgeon.

For emergencies after clinic hours, head to Gleneagles Urgent Care centre (UCC) and request for Dr. Tan Chun Hai.


What is the Treatment for Appendicitis?

In most cases, surgery will be required to remove the appendix, especially when it’s at risk of rupturing.

This procedure is known as an appendectomy. Prior to surgery, you may be given antibiotics to treat infection.

An appendectomy is also carried out in cases where the appendix has ruptured, along with the drainage of abscess or cleaning up of pus in the abdominal cavity.

Life After an Appendectomy

Patients generally go on to live normal lives with their appendix removed.

Some studies have shown that the appendix may act as a reserve for “good” digestive bacteria, and play a role in restoring this beneficial bacteria in the gut, after cases of gastrointestinal disorders.

However, the risk of a ruptured appendix is far greater and undergoing an appendectomy generally doesn’t cause any long-term issues.

Keyhole Surgery Expertise

An appendectomy can be carried out through open surgery or a minimally invasive way known as laparoscopic, or keyhole, appendectomy. Whereas an open surgery requires long incisions made in the abdomen, laparoscopic surgery only requires small incisions and is carried out with the use of specialised keyhole instruments.

Because the procedure is less invasive, keyhole surgery offers the advantage of promoting less post-operative pain, shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery period. At Surgicare, Dr Tan specialises in providing keyhole surgery when surgical repair is needed and where applicable.

20+ Years of Clinical Experience

Dr. Tan Chun Hai (陈俊海医生)

Upper Gastrointestinal, Bariatric & General Surgeon

Endoscopy & Minimally-Invasive Surgery Specialist

Dr. Tan Chun Hai is a dual fellowship-trained specialist in laparoscopic (keyhole) stomach cancer surgery and Bariatric & Metabolic surgery. His clinical expertise includes the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques for stomach-related disorders, gallstones, appendicitis and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

Dr. Tan also specialises in performing endoscopies/gastroscopies and colonoscopies. When applicable, Dr. Tan provides same-day treatment within a few hours of diagnosis. Dr. Tan subscribes to a less invasive practice, promoting less postoperative pain and shorter hospital stays.

Patients’ Feedback

Have a concern?

Give us a call at 6250 5610 or WhatsApp us at 8870 3848.


Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any of the symptoms of appendicitis listed above, you should see a specialist right away. An appendicitis is a medical emergency that should be treated as quickly as possible.

Give our clinic a call at 6250 5610 or head to Gleneagles Urgent Care Centre (after office hours) and request for Dr. Tan Chun Hai.

An appendicitis can be diagnosed through several ways. One could be a clinical examination by a doctor. Pressure is applied to the right lower abdomen to check for pain and tenderness.

A CT scan is the most common and accurate way to diagnose appendicitis. It gives a clear picture of a swollen appendix, indicating an appendicitis, or fluids in the abdomen if the appendix has ruptured.

Alternatively, your doctor may order for an ultrasound when diagnosing children or pregnant women, avoiding exposure to radiation.

If the appendix has burst and infection has spread throughout the abdomen, immediate surgery will be required to remove the appendix and clean out the abdominal cavity.

In a scenario where a ruptured appendix has lead to the development of a pocket of infection, called an abcess, your surgeon would drain out the abcess and put you on antibiotics to clear the infecton.

An appendectomy is carried out at a later date once the infection is under control. In some cases, your surgeon may immediately remove your appendix after the abscess is drained.


Right after surgery you will be left to rest in the hospital while nurses monitor your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration. Your wound and level of post-operative pain will also be observed and you may be given painkillers to cope.

An uncomplicated appendectomy should allow you to get out of bed quite soon after the surgery and enable you to be discharged in a couple of days.

The recovery time if you’ve had laparoscopic appendectomy is about 1 to 3 weeks until you will probably be able to return to a normal routine, and 2 to 4 weeks if you had open surgery.

Surgicare Bariatric and General Surgery is on the specialist panel of most Integrated Shield and Corporate Insurance Plans.

To ensure you peace of mind, our staff will always be readily available to assist you with claims and financial estimates of your procedure(s).

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.