Discharge Instructions for Open Appendectomy (Appendix Removal)
You have had a procedure called an open appendectomy to remove your appendix. The appendix is a worm-shaped hollow pouch attached to the beginning of your large intestine. During an open appendectomy one incision (about 2 to 3 inches long) was made in your lower right side. A longer incision may have been used if the appendix ruptured. Here are guidelines to follow at home.
Tips for taking care of your incision include the following:
Wear loose-fitting clothes. This will help you be more comfortable and cause less irritation around your incision.
Shower as usual.
Gently wash around your incision with soap and water.
Don’t bathe or soak in a tub or swim in a pool until your incisions are well healed.
If your incision was closed with small, white strips of tape, leave them in place for 10 days.
Diet tips after your appendix was removed:
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, unless directed otherwise.
Take a fiber-based laxative if you are constipated.
Eat a bland, low-fat diet, such as:
Plain toast or bread, crackers
Macaroni (plain or with cheese)
Canned fruit (except pineapple)
Very ripe bananas
Do's and don'ts for activities include:
If you had general anesthesia, don’t operate machinery or power tools, drink alcohol, or make major decisions for at least the first 24 hours.
Gradually increase activity level to help with your recovery. Start by doing light activities around your home once you feel able to do so.
Don’t drive until you are no longer taking 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.
When to call your healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:
Swelling, oozing, increased pain, or unusual redness around the incision
Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
Increasing abdominal pain
Severe diarrhea, bloating, or constipation
Nausea or vomiting
March 21, 2017
Acute Appendicitis in Adults: Management. UpToDate, Minor Wound Repair with Tissue Adhesives (Cyanoacrylates). UpToDate, Similar Outcomes at a Lower Cost: An Argument for Open Appendectomy in Simple Appendicitis. Garvey E. The American Surgeon. 2014;(80)2:212-15.
Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNP,Lehrer, Michael Stephen, MD