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Indications: You were brought to the hospital with symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, a fever of 38oC (100.4oF) or more and diarrhea. You also reported pain in the middle of your abdomen (tummy) and pressing on the lower abdomen area in the right side, coughing or walking made the pain worse. Doctors after thorough evaluation confirmed that your appendix were swollen and advised you to get that operated soon. The appendix is a small, finger-shaped organ that comes out from the first part of the large intestine. It is removed when it becomes swollen (inflamed) or infected. This condition is called Appendicitis. An appendectomy is the surgery to remove the appendix
Treatments: You have undergone an appendectomy surgery when you were in the hospital. The two main surgical techniques include open and laparoscopic appendectomy. These involve:
Open method: In this method, a two- to three-inch incision is made in the lower right-hand side of the abdomen. The surgeon locates the appendix and removes it through the incision.
Laparoscopic method: This procedure uses several small incisions and three or more laparoscopes small thin tubes with video cameras attached to visualize the inside of the abdomen during the operation. The surgeon performs the surgery while looking at a TV monitor. The appendix is removed through one of the incisions . Sometimes an attempted laparoscopic method has to be converted to open method due to various surgical reasons.
Diagram of removal of an infected appendix (Appendectomy)
Self care instructions: Do's and don'ts after appendectomy:If you had your appendectomy by the laproscopic technique, you will most likely go home the same day of surgery. You may have shoulder pain after the surgery. This is normal and is caused by the gas used during the procedure. When you get home, it is important to get up and walk around to help get rid of the gas.
will usually have abdominal discomfort after the surgery. Your doctor
will prescribe pain medicine for you to take. It is important to take
this medication as directed so that you are able to get out of bed and
care for yourself at home.
It is very important to get out of bed and walk.
This improves the circulation in your legs, aids in getting rid of the
abdominal gas, keeps your lungs clear from congestion, and assists in
Keep the incision area clean to prevent infection. You may shower, but do not take tub baths until advised by your surgeon.
Within one to two days after surgery, you may slowly increase your diet from clear liquids
(tea, broth, jello, clear juices, water) to your usual diet. If you
have persistent nausea and/or vomiting, report this to your surgeon.
- You may like to use a mild laxative as advised by your doctor for the first few days. Drink plenty of water every day to help prevent constipation.
Your surgeon or nurse will review with you when you can return to normal activities.
- Make sure you have adequate rest. A fast lifestyle, with inadequate diet, will slow your recovery. - Avoid lifting heavy objects and stair climbing, so that you don't strain your abdominal muscles. - After a few days, slowly resume your normal activities. Include regular, gentle exercise
Things to expect at home: The
incision and the abdominal muscles may ache, especially after long
periods of standing. Take a pain reliever for soreness as recommended by
your doctor. Aspirin or certain other pain medications may increase the
chance of bleeding. Be sure to take only recommended medications(3)
Side effects/Risks: As with any surgical procedure, complications may occur. Some possible complications include, but are not limited to, the following:
Peritonitis. An inflammation of the abdomen that can occur if the appendix ruptures during surgery
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition...more
Call your doctor immediately to report any of the followings:
Persistent fever over 101oF and/or chills.
Redness, swelling, or bleeding or other drainage from the incision site(s).
Increased pain around the incision site(s).
Loss of appetite and inability to eat or drink fluids.
Persistent coughing, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath.
Abdominal pain, cramping, or swelling.
Failure to have a bowel movement after two days or longer.(3)
Walking and limited movement are generally encouraged, but strenuous activity should be avoided till 6 weeks for open surgery and at least 3 weeks for laproscopic surgery.
Do not lift anything heavy for up to 6 weeks.
You can carry out following exercises after appendectomy
1. Basic Exercises
After surgery Immobility during the first to second week after appendectomy is normal. The best exercise to perform after this immobile period is basic training only such as short walk. This type of training is safe and a good way to begin your return to normal daily activities. During the walk, you should really pay attention to your posture or position. You are not allowed to put most of body weights on abdominal muscles.
Another essential thing is that you should only perform this walk in a brief instant period. It is not recommended that you push yourself too hard for extended periods. The main purpose of this training is to slightly restore your conditions; it is suggested that you stop as soon as you are tired.
2. Bed Exercises
You can actually perform some light exercises even during the immobile period. Some leg exercises are possibly performed on bed; basic leg lifts and pumps will increase blood flow circulation and logically prevent the formation of blood clots in the lower body parts.
It is necessary to consult doctors before trying any possible exercise immediately after the appendectomy.
3. Passive Abdominal
After few weeks of appendectomy, your abdominal area will naturally grow stronger. At this condition, you can do some passive abdominal exercise on your bed. You can sit at the edge of the bed and lift both of your legs until they are parallel with the floor.
Hold this position for few seconds. This will effectively strengthen the abdominal muscles. You can do the training for few repetitions until you are tired.
If you consult doctors, perhaps you are allowed to combine all the mentioned trainings in a day. You must remember that exercises after appendectomy are indeed recommended, but the intensity should be very low to avoid further complications of the surgery wounds.
Swimming activities seem to be such heavy exercises after appendectomy, but these trainings can be excellent as long as you swim with low intensity. Free-style swimming actually puts a very small amount of tension to joints and abdominal area. You may start building your training regiments with some short laps only to avoid any possible injury or complications.
Your doctor will instruct you about when you can return to work and resume normal activities.
Walking and limited movement are generally encouraged, but strenuous activity should be avoided till 6 weeks for open surgery and at least 3 weeks for laparoscopic surgery...more
You can expect some dietary changes in the days following an appendectomy.
Anesthesia administered during the surgery can leave you feeling nauseated for several days, making solid foods or those high in fats or sugar difficult to keep down. It's also not uncommon to have a sore throat for a few days.
For the first day after surgery, as long as there are no complications, you should take in only clear liquids and avoid drinking coffee, colas or juice since the sugar, bubbles and caffeine could be irritating.
Why to Avoid Foods The appendix may be attached to the intestine, but it does not play a role in digestion. The reason for avoiding certain foods after surgery is primarily to prevent gas, bloating and other symptoms that can irritate the abdomen.
Bloating and Gas You may have loose, water stools after surgery. A bland-food diet is less likely to produce abdominal bloating, discomfort and diarrhea. Certain types of sugars can also cause abdominal discomfort, including lactose, a natural sugar found in dairy products; sucrose; and fructose, which occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables. Starches like potatoes, corn, pasta and wheat produce gas when they break down in the large intestine.
Alcohol Avoid food and beverages containing alcohol until you're fully recovered. Alcohol is a drug and can react negatively with any anesthesia left in your system following surgery.