Appendix Out

WSVN — Gabriel Sturman loves to show off his skills on the piano, but a few months ago, he hit a bad note complaining of stomach pain.Christine Sturman: "When kids complain that their stomach hurts you think well that's pretty natural."But the pain didn't go away.Gabriel Sturman: "Sometimes I would have to go to the nurses office at school so it really hurt that bad."One night it got so bad Gabriel ended up in the emergency room.Christine Sturman: "He was in excruciating pain. He was yelling, he was grabbing his stomach."Turned out Gabriel was suffering from appendicitis. Dr. Fuad Alkhoury: "Appendicitis is very common and it happens in children a lot."Doctors at Joe Dimaggio Children's Hospital say parents may think it's just a stomach ache but if your child complains of abdominal pain on the lower right side that doesn't go away, along with vomiting and loss of appetite, it could be their appendix. Gabriel's parents got the news.Dr. Fuad Alkhoury: "It's his appendix and it needs to come out this morning."Traditionally doctors had to make three incisions to remove the appendix, which meant a long recovery. But now, pediatric surgeons are removing the appendix right through the tiny opening in the bellybutton.Dr. Fuad Alkhoury: "We put our camera in and we identify where the appendix is, and then we pull the appendix out through that opening."Doctors say the procedure doesn't leave a scar. The child normally doesn't need painkillers and they can usually go home the same day. Gabriel was back to his active self soon after the procedure. Plus he now has a good story to tell!Christine Sturman: "He loved telling his little brother they took my organ out through my bellybutton."But ask him if we wants to take his appendix home and keep it in a jar?Gabriel Sturman: "That would just creep me out the rest of my life."Alexis Rivera: "Doctors say if the appendix has ruptured they can't do the bellybutton procedure, so if your child has symptoms get medical help right away."FOR MORE INFORMATION:Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital: