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What can I Expect from an Appendectomy Recovery?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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After you have your appendix removed, you can expect your appendectomy recovery to last about four to six weeks, though this may be extended if your appendix ruptured before your surgery. During the recovery period, which will take place mostly at home, you may experience some soreness and thus may need to take pain medication. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection. Depending on your doctor's orders, you may need to rest for one or two weeks before resuming most of your normal daily activities. In all cases, you should take your appendectomy recovery seriously and report any unusual symptoms to your doctor and, in case of symptoms that indicate that you are suffering from a serious infection, you may need to call emergency services to send an ambulance.

After your appendectomy, your condition will be monitored by nurses in the hospital. You may be asked to get up and move around soon after surgery, a routine that you will be asked to perform several times a day while in appendectomy recovery. Initially, you may be only able to consume clear fluids, although as you recover you'll be able to resume your normal diet. You may be in the hospital for anywhere from one to three days after surgery, though the exact timing of your release from the hospital will depend on several factors, including whether your appendix actually ruptured and how well your recovery process is going.

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Before your release from the hospital, your nurse will explain to you the appendectomy recovery routine that you should follow at home. This may include the consumption of medications, including analgesics and antibiotics. You will also have to change your dressings, and the nurse can show you how to do this. Be sure to pay attention to the nurse's instructions about keeping your wound clean and how to identify complications and infections. You will likely be asked to continue getting out of bed and walking around daily, though you may also be warned against heavy lifting and strenuous activities.

In many cases, you will be scheduled for a follow-up visit with your doctor, who can evaluate your condition and let you know if it is safe for you to resume all of your normal work and leisure activities. In some cases, particularly if your appendix burst, your doctor may have to provide some additional care. In cases where an infection develops, your doctor may have to perform follow-up surgery to thoroughly clean your abdominal cavity in order to prevent further problems.

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