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.
- 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
- Plain spaghetti
- Macaroni (plain or with cheese)
- Cottage cheese
- 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