Discharge Instructions for Open Appendectomy (Appendix Removal)

Discharge Instructions for Open Appendectomy (Appendix Removal)

You have had a procedure known as 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.

Incision Care

  • 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.
  • Leave the Steri-Strips (little white strips of tape) in place for 10 days.


  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, unless directed otherwise.
  • Take a fiber-based laxative, such as Metamucil, if you are constipated.
  • Eat a bland, low-fat diet, such as the following:
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Plain toast or bread, crackers
    • Soup
    • Plain spaghetti
    • Rice
    • Macaroni (plain or with cheese)
    • Cottage cheese
    • Pudding
    • Low-fat yogurt
    • Low-fat milk
    • Canned fruit (except pineapple)
    • Very ripe bananas


  • 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 medication.
  • Don't lift anything heavier than 10 pounds until your doctor says it's okay.
  • Limit sports and strenuous activities for 1 or 2 weeks.


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

When to Call Your Doctor

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

  • Swelling, oozing, increased pain, or unusual redness around the incision
  • Fever of 100.4?F or higher
  • Increasing abdominal pain
  • Severe diarrhea, bloating, or constipation
  • Nausea or vomiting