HealthSheets™


After Laparoscopic Appendectomy (Appendix Removal)

You have had a surgery to remove your appendix. The appendix is a narrow pouch attached to the lower right part of your large intestine. During your surgery, the doctor made 2 to 4 small incisions. One was near your belly button, and the others were elsewhere on your abdomen. Through one incision, the doctor inserted a thin tube with a camera attached (laparoscope). Other surgery tools were used in the other incisions.

While you recover you may have pain in your shoulder and chest for up to 48 hours after surgery. This is common. It is caused by carbon dioxide gas used during the surgery. It will go away. 

Home care

  • Keep your incisions clean and dry.

  • Don't pull off the thin strips of tape covering your incision. They should fall off on their own in a week or so.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes. This will help cause less irritation around your incisions.

  • You can shower as usual. Gently wash around your incisions with soap and water. Don’t take a bath until your incisions are fully healed.

  • Don’t drive until you have stopped taken prescription pain medicine.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds until your healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Limit sports and strenuous activities for 1 or 2 weeks.

  • Resume light activities around your home as soon as you feel comfortable.

What to eat

Eat a bland, low-fat diet. This can include foods such as:

  • Well-cooked soft cereals

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Plain toast or bread

  • Plain crackers

  • Plain pasta

  • Rice

  • Cottage cheese

  • Pudding

  • Low-fat yogurt

  • Low-fat milk

  • Ripe bananas

Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, unless directed otherwise. If you are constipated, take a fiber laxative or a stool softener.

When to call your healthcare provider 

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

  • Swelling, pain, fluid, or redness in the incision that gets worse

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

  • Belly (abdominal) pain that gets worse

  • Severe diarrhea, bloating, or constipation

  • Nausea or vomiting

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