The cost of appendicitis surgery

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A guide to appendectomy costs

Updated March 07, 2024
Written by Joshua Malin
Reviewed by Steven Spicer

What is appendicitis?

The appendix is a thin pouch attached to your large intestine on the right side of your abdomen which can become blocked by food or faecal matter.1 This blockage can lead to inflammation and the appendix can become infected, which can prove fatal if it ruptures.

Symptoms involve sharp abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea and fever. While you can’t necessarily prevent this condition, it can be treated through either an open or laparoscopic appendectomy surgery (sometimes called an appendicectomy).

How does appendix removal work?

If you’re diagnosed with appendicitis, health professionals will assess whether your appendix has ruptured, which determines if your surgery can be laparoscopic (i.e. keyhole) or if you’ll need to have open surgery. They will also evaluate how urgently your surgery is required. Typically, your hospital recovery time may only be a few days.

The severity of your appendicitis will also determine whether your surgery will be laparoscopic or open appendectomy. An open appendectomy involves a larger incision made through the skin, underlying tissue and the abdominal wall to access the appendix, while laparoscopic surgery is less invasive, using smaller incisions.2

During laparoscopic surgery, a surgeon uses cameras and surgical tools inserted through small incisions to locate your appendix and remove it.

Hospital insurance for appendectomy surgery

Does Medicare or hospital insurance cover treatment for appendicitis?

Which type of hospital insurance policy would I need for an appendectomy?

What’s covered by your hospital insurance for appendicitis?

Can I use my private hospital insurance in a public hospital for appendicitis?

How long do you need to wait before you can claim on appendix surgery?

Appendix surgery costs

How much does appendicitis surgery cost without insurance?

Ambulance fees

Excess and co-payments

Meet our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

As the Executive General Manager of Health, Life and Energy, Steven Spicer is a strong believer in the benefits of private cover and knows just how valuable the peace of mind that comes with cover can be. He is passionate about demystifying the health insurance industry and advocates for the benefits of comparison when it comes to saving money on your premiums.

1 Appendicitis. Healthdirect, Department of Health, Australian Government. Accessed February 2024.

2 Betterhealth Victoria: Appendectomy. Accessed February 2024.

3 Hospital Casemix Protocol: Annual Report. Department of Health, Australian Government. 2021-22.