Abdominal Sepsis & Appendicitis

Abdominal sepsis is a life-threatening inflammatory response to infection, which can lead to organ failure, tissue damage, and death. Bacterial infections, fungus, parasites, and viral infections can also cause sepsis. Sepsis is a medical emergency and requires prompt intervention.

Dr Hatchuel works mainly with abdominal and gastrointestinal sepsis, including appendix and gallbladder infections, infection from bowel issues, and peritonitis (abdominal cavity infections).


The appendix is a small “pouch” on the colon on the lower right side of your abdomen. When it becomes inflamed, it causes pain in the lower right abdomen, or the pain will begin in the navel and then move. If the inflammation worsens, the appendicitis pain gradually increases, eventually leading to a rupturing of the appendix if not attended to in time.

In many cases, the appendix has to be surgically removed.

What happens in an appendectomy?

The general process is as follows:

  • An incision will be made, and your muscles parted to access the appendix
  • The appendix is tied off with stitches and then removed
  • If your appendix has burst, the area will be rinsed with saline solution (salt water)
  • The lining of the abdomen and the incision is then stitched up. Sometimes a small tube is inserted in the abdomen to drain fluids.

This operation can also be done laparoscopically. See Dr Hatchuel’s laparoscopy page for more.

Gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy)

The gallbladder collects and stores bile needed for digestion. It may need to be removed if you have a gallbladder disease.

If the gallbladder becomes inflamed, is irritated, or has stones blocking the outflow of bile, then it may not work properly. It can become inflamed for many reasons, the main ones being something you may have eaten, an infection, or gallstones (caused by a chemical imbalance in the gallbladder) blocking the opening out of the gallbladder.

Gallbladder issues can cause pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, bloating, burping, indigestion, heartburn, and some food intolerances. Since it’s one of those organs you can function normally without, a good treatment is to simply remove it.

Why would I need gallbladder surgery?
  • To treat gallbladder disease
  • To remove gallstones
  • For a biopsy of cancerous tumours in the gallbladder
  • To manage cirrhosis and portal hypertension
Open surgery or laparoscopic?

Dr Hatchuel will assess which kind of surgery is best and safest for you.

Open surgery

In an open surgery, an incision will be made just under the ribcage on the right hand side of the abdomen, and the gallbladder removed. Recovery can take up to eight weeks.

Laparoscopic gallbladder removal

See our laparoscopy page for how this procedure works.

Dr Hatchuel will make small incisions for the laparoscope (a small thin tube with a light and a camera) and other surgical instruments to remove the gallbladder. Sometimes stones will also be removed if they’re found in the main bile duct—here, if the gallbladder is severely inflamed, drains will be placed down the gallbladder bed and then removed at your follow-up appointment.

Enterocutaneous Fistula

An enterocutaneous fistula (ECF) is where the contents of the stomach or intestines leak through the skin because of an abnormal connection that develops between the intestinal tract/stomach and the skin. It can happen after bowel surgery, an abnormal injury, because of an infection, a perforated peptic ulcer, or other inflammatory bowel diseases.


Dr Hatchuel will perform a complex surgery to close the fistula and reconnect the gastrointestinal tract. The type of surgery used to treat it will depend on what other conditions are present and how the ECF was formed.

As an experienced specialist surgeon, you can be sure that Dr Hatchuel will choose the ideal surgery to get you feeling strong and healthy again.


Peritonitis is a serious inflammation that happens when the thin layer of tissue inside the abdomen (called the peritoneum) becomes infected, usually from a hole in the bowel or gastrointestinal tract, or a bacteria or fungus.

Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis happens when a liver or kidney disease affects the peritoneum. Secondary peritonitis happens when an organ in the abdomen ruptures (like the appendix). It can also be caused by other health conditions.

What kind of surgery would I need to fix it?

Depending on the cause of peritonitis, you’ll need different operations. Badly damaged stomach lining might need to be surgically removed, abscesses drained, or your appendix may need to be removed.

With Dr Hatchuel, you’re in good hands. Know you’re fully supported by his spot-on diagnoses, profound medical knowledge, and expert surgical skills.