HealthSheets™


After an Appendectomy

Woman in hospital gown with IV pole walking in hospital hallway with healthcare provider.
You will start walking very soon after surgery. Walking helps you recover faster and helps prevent complications.

Most people recover quickly after an appendectomy. You will likely be in the hospital for 1 to 2 days. If your appendix burst, you may stay longer. After you return home, plan on a follow-up visit with your healthcare provider in 1 to 2 weeks, or as instructed.

In the hospital

In most cases, you will drink liquids and walk on the day of the surgery. You will also be given pain medicine. To help keep your lungs clear, you may be taught breathing exercises.

Back at home

Take your medicines as directed. They can help control pain from the surgery. Avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting, and driving until your surgeon says it is OK. As directed, slowly go back to your normal activities in 7 to 10 days.

When to call your provider

Call your healthcare provider if you have any of the following:

  • Swelling, oozing, worsening pain, or abnormal redness near the incision

  • A fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Belly pain that gets worse

  • Severe diarrhea, bloating, or constipation

  • Upset stomach (nausea) or vomiting

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