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Recovery After Appendectomy Surgery for Appendicitis

Updated on February 26, 2015
Appendectomy surgery is normally relatively straightforward
Appendectomy surgery is normally relatively straightforward | Source

Introduction

An appendectomy is surgery carried out to remove a blocked, inflamed or otherwise damaged appendix. This type of surgery is necessary if a patient has or is likely to develop appendicitis or a similar medical condition. The procedure is often performed at short-notice as emergency medical surgery to prevent more dangerous problems from occurring. In this article we'll explore the typical recovery process from appendectomy surgery.

The appendix is a small organ attached to the large intestine. Appendicitis is a relatively common condition that happens when the appendix becomes inflamed or blocked. If it is left untreated, the appendix can burst, creating potentially life-threatening issues for the patient due to the risk of internal infection. Because of this, if appendicitis is diagnosed, the appendix needs to be removed.

There are two types of surgery that can be used to remove an appendix:

  • Open surgery - This is where the surgeon will make a two to three inch incision in the patient's abdomen. They will then find the appendix, remove it and suture the internal and external wound.
  • Laparoscopic or 'keyhole' surgery - The surgeon will make several small incisions in the abdomen and insert a camera and some very fine surgical instruments attached to tubes. They will then use the camera to locate the appendix and use the instruments to remove it and suture the wound.

Both open and keyhole surgery can be used to treat appendicitis
Both open and keyhole surgery can be used to treat appendicitis | Source

Keyhole surgery is generally much less traumatic for the patient and can sometimes even be completed without requiring an overnight stay. Recovery times vary depending on the type of surgery performed.

Open surgery for appendicitis
Open surgery for appendicitis | Source

Recovery from open surgery

  • The patient will normally require a hospital stay following the operation of two to three days.
  • They will be able to get up and move around after one to two days.
  • They will experience discomfort for several weeks following the operation.
  • They will be able to return to light activities and gentle work after three to four weeks.
  • They will be able to return to normal activities after four to six weeks.

Recovery from keyhole surgery

  • The patient will sometimes need to stay in the hospital overnight but may have the procedure as an outpatient.
  • They will be able to get up and move around after eight to twelve hours.
  • They will experience discomfort for a couple of weeks following the operation.
  • They will be able to return to light activities and gentle work after a couple of weeks.
  • They will be able to return to normal activities after two to four weeks.

Appendectomy surgery (keyhole)

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In closing

If you suspect that you may be suffering from appendicitis or have significant abdominal pain, it is essential to see a doctor as soon as possible. An appendectomy is a straightforward procedure and early diagnosis and treatment will mean that you will make a full recovery.

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      ouch, that is a painful surgery. When i had gallbladder remove, I had to endure the pain of the stitches, hope you are better now